Do you crave a better work life balance? Do you wish you could be less distracted by work and focus on the importance of family and friends at the weekend? Does the lure of a spreadsheet or Google document become all too much on an evening? You need to step away from the laptop.
Remember the days where computers were solely desktops? You commuted to the office, sat at your desk and worked on the computer before logging off and leaving it until the next day. People say that smartphones are one of the main killers of work life balance but it started before that with laptops. They used to be given out to those who seen as important, it was perhaps a status symbol of those who needed them. Now-a-days we all use them. They’re affordable and with the network of Wi-Fi in every coffee shop from here to the edge of the world, you can literally log on wherever you are and crack on with some work. That isn’t always a good thing. It’s gone from being able to work away from the ‘shackles’ of an office, to your entire life being an office.
According to recent statistics, those who enter employment now and are handed a laptop on day one, are doing 10% more work on a daily basis than those working just 4 years ago. That certainly isn’t helping a work life balance and this added screen time is simply taking away from other areas of everyday life. New to work professionals are seeing this as the new norm. When you haven’t experienced anything else, it’s easy to fall into the trap of what everyone else is doing and view that as what is expected of you. Think about what it’s taking you away from though. Family time, meet ups with friends, your hobbies. Even sleep. Pressure of work can already affect how we sleep without having laptops in bed with us until the early hours of the morning. Checking your emails and responding to them at midnight isn’t a good thing. Surely it can wait until the morning?
Now I’m not saying that laptops are all bad. They do allow freedom and are a huge necessity for a lot of people. There are many workers who travel the globe whilst running successful enterprises from their laptops. Anyone can become a YouTube star and we can network and connect with people like never before. There are many positives, but it’s those times when we pull them out and open them up in order to deal with something which could be done during office hours, that is when they become a negative. How much time do you spend on your laptop? Is it working hard or do you find yourself ‘busy doing nothing’? Maybe it’s time we all stepped back from the laptop, actually switched them off and in some cases, disconnected from the Wi-Fi for a couple of nights a week. Those emails will still be there tomorrow.