It’s Time to Set Some Boundaries with Your Smartphone at Work

Smartphone apps can make tackling tasks both inside and outside the office much easier. Often, however, that increased productivity comes at the expense of your work-life balance.

Thanks to smartphones, employees are now available whenever they’re awake. The result of this is the expectation from employers that their workers should be available to answer questions when they’re home relaxing or on a vacation.

While this may be good for business, it’s not necessarily good for your health. In fact, studies have revealed, that working in your off-hours and racking up 50, 55 or even more hours per week isn’t particularly good for worker productivity.

If your employer expects to respond to emails or texts, you might feel like your smartphone has become your enemy. However, if you take a few simple steps, your plucky little device can quickly become your best friend again.

Establish boundaries

If you feel like your employer is running your life through your smartphone, you need to erect reasonable boundaries. Tell your employer you can’t immediately respond after a certain time in the evening and/or on Saturdays.

It’s true that every job is different, with varying degrees of responsibility and expectations. However, good employers will respect any clear boundaries you establish. If an employer does not respect your work-life boundaries, you probably have bigger problems with this organization and you need to consider finding a new job ASAP.

Leverage the power of apps

If your employer isn’t the problem and your inability to disconnect is, there are several apps out there that can help you set up boundaries for yourself.  For instance, the Android app OFFTIME allows users to obstruct calls and texts from particular contacts, limit usage of certain apps during particular times of the day and track phone usage to reveal how much the device is being used away from work.

While there are ways around any boundary-setting app, behavioral research has show that the simplest of boundaries are far more effective than not setting boundaries at all.

Establish device-free hours or days

If you are blessed with a modicum of self-control, simply setting up device-free blocks in your personal schedule can help you better organize your work-life balance. For instance, if you know you have device-free time from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 pm., you can take the opportunity to go for a walk with your kids or meet up with friends.

Maximize office productivity

If you’re concentrating and more effective during your normal workday, you should have fewer loose ends to tie up at home, and feel less of a need to compensate for an unproductive day.

If you have problems getting the important stuff done at work, apps can help you boost your productivity. Apps can help you coordinate your time, automate tasks, multitask and remind you to stay focused. If you really want to keep work at work, many apps can help you do just that.

At Labor Temps, we understand how important personal time is to our clients and contract workers. If you’re looking to partner with a staffing company that places a high priority on work-life balance, please contact us today.