Top tips for a healthy use of technology

Top tips for a healthy use of technology

In our recent Cityparents survey this Summer we asked our respondents to share any tips they had for finding a positive relationship with technology, we had so many great ones we decided to share them here.

Technology undoubtedly brings benefits to many aspects of our lives, particularly for those of us who can better balance our home and professional lives by working away from the office and outside of traditional working hours.

In the 2019 results of our Annual Members survey, 73% of respondents describe technology as ‘helpful’. However, they also expressed the need for a healthy balance and the need to ‘switch off’ both physically and mentally at the end of the day. One respondent said: “It is both helpful and I feel overwhelmed by it sometimes.” Another astutely remarked: “Technology is only a reflection of expectations of human beings. Change starts with you.”

In our survey we asked our respondents to share any tips they had for finding a positive relationship with technology, and here we have picked our favourites:

 Set boundaries and implement rules. Your tips:

“Where possible, keep a work and a home phone, that way when you are away or needing a break at the weekend you don't feel the need to check emails.”

“No phones, ipads etc at the table when eating, this is family time to discuss and chat about you day and your children’s day.”

“Switch off work phone after 8pm, switch back on at 7am and do not look at it while doing bath/bedtime routine with children.”

Set expectations and be aware of the precedents you set. Your tips:

“No emails after 6pm and no emails at the weekend. In my own interactions after hours/at weekends I always indicate that I do not expect a response until the next working day.”

“If I log on in the evening to catch up after the kids have gone to bed, I will put a delay on emails so that they are delivered in the morning (unless critical) so that I am not setting an expectation that I am available at all hours.”

“Use a flexible working strapline on my emails.”

Be strict yet realistic. Your tips:

“I leave my work phone in my office at home when I have finished for the day. I only respond to emails out of hours if it is URGENT.”

“Expect it to screw up at some point, lower your expectations and you will be fine.”

Have a system for urgent communications or emergencies. Your tips:

“Colleagues know that for truly urgent issues I can be contacted on my private number which I only give sparingly and to those involved in urgent issues. I keep my work emails on my work phone. On holiday and at the weekends, unless I am specifically needed, I check my phone a couple of times a day only. My PA has my personal number if a matter is urgent.”

“I get my team to text me if anything urgent comes up on my non-working day, rather than assuming I will check email.”

“I always tell my team they can WhatsApp me if they need an answer to something quickly.”

Prioritise tools that are productive. Your tips:

“Remove work inbox from devices when on holiday. Come off Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat - instead make real connections with people you genuinely care about.”

“Delete non-essential apps.”

“Get off as many mailing lists as possible.”

Switch off notifications to minimise distractions. Your tips:

“Turn off notifications of incoming work emails on my phone and try not to check work email too frequently, especially when with my children - generally work emails can wait until the next morning.”

 “Switch off outlook when trying to concentrate on producing a significant piece of work product (e.g. note of advice, drafting of documentation).”

“I switch off notifications from my work email app when I want to switch off. It means I have to log in to check rather than automatically checking emails as they come in, which means I am more likely to switch off.”

Do you have other tips? Share them on Twitter tagging @citymothers and #cityparentstechtips

 

Released On 10th Oct 2019

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