FOMO: Are you always on?

For busy employees, being able to submit an expense claim on-the-go is a powerful advantage. There’s no need to waste valuable time sifting through piles of old receipts, trying to remember the details of a business trip that took place weeks ago or filling in hard copy expense claim forms. For the finance team back in the office, it’s a big advantage too. No more chasing overdue expense claims, no more data entry and the benefits of improved visibility into cashflow realised. It’s no wonder employees are much happier with the overall expense reporting experience when it’s mobile-friendly and automated.


An Always On Culture

According to research, over 70% of British workers say they reply to work-related emails or make work-related calls outside their normal working hours. Over 30% check their phone for work-related purposes immediately before they go to sleep and as soon as they wake up. Nearly 35% of workers have access to shared drives and workspaces and over 60% say they access these outside working hours.


It’s also clear people increasingly see this blurring of the line between work and home as a problem. Nearly 80% of professionals believe the always-on culture is having a negative effect on today’s workforce. Over half report increased stress levels and nearly half spend less time with the family than they’d like.


Finding the Balance

There is no doubt that technology has transformed the modern workplace for the better in so many ways. Few businesses that have embraced automation would willingly return to the days of paper-based processes and piles of filing.


But there’s also no doubt that technology has its downsides, not least in terms of mental health and wellbeing.


The question, then, is where to find the balance? How can we harness the advantages technology has to offer and avoid the downsides?


Taking Control of Technology

YouGov research shows that 60% of those who use email for work check their inboxes while on holiday. But of those people with a manager, 82% said they would probably or definitely would not expect them to be in touch. So, if you’re an employee, ask yourself whether checking your phone for work is what your boss would really want.


If you’re a leader, the statistic highlights the importance of having a clear policy about work life balance in place – and making sure you reinforce it. Perhaps the best way to achieve this is by following the mantra of ‘being the change you want to see.’


You could follow the example of Robbert Rietbroek, CEO of PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand. He has implemented a policy of Leavers Leaving Loudly. It ensures when team leaders leave, they feel comfortable doing so but also to declare it to the broader team. The goal is to reduce presenteeism, because when leaders go home more junior members of the team feel comfortable to leave too. In addition, after-hours work emails are discouraged, although not banned. As he says to his team members: “I’d like you to be a hero at work, but I want you to be a hero at home. If you’re only a hero at work, you’re only doing half the job.”


Start 2019 The Way You Mean to Go On

If your tendency to be always on is starting to concern you and you want to take back control, make it your mission to do so. Embrace everything technology has to offer you and your team but don’t let it take over where you don’t want it to.

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