Being ‘Always-On’; balancing work and productivity in the digital age.


Remote working is here to stay, but in the digital age of being ‘always on,’ it is important that we avoid burnout and manage low levels of productivity and motivation for both business owners and their employees. 

Advancements in digital technology and the adoption of remote-work means that we are now always online. It is assumed that we can answer emails and calls at any time and meet with people regardless of time zones thanks to virtual meetings. The benefits of today’s technology are not to be discredited, but we know they also bring several challenges if not appropriately managed.

Since the pandemic, the number of virtual meetings we have has exponentially increased. Microsoft’s research shows the number of weekly Teams meetings across the globe has increased by 153%. Evidence shows that excessive meetings and calls can make employees less productive. As for emails, statistics indicate that on average we send 40 emails, and receive over 120 emails per day. 

So, how can we balance work and productivity levels when we’re always expected to be available?

Adopt the Hybrid Model

The hybrid working model provides boundaries that remote working can’t. By setting a time to work with others in a calm and sophisticated environment, such as a coworking space, can help increase motivation. Holding one face-to-face meeting in a corporate office is much more efficient than several virtual catchups at home. When employees come into their shared workspace and connect and create together, motivation and engagement is also boosted.

Flexible Management

Having a manager that understands employee challenges, preferences and working styles goes a long way in establishing engagement. Knowing how your employees thrive and giving them the flexibility they need to be motivated will be beneficial to all parties. This often means allowing them to work both at home and in your shared workspace. Check-ins are necessary, and so long as they’re not held excessively, employees appreciate the human connection that a face-to-face catch-up brings.

Setting Boundaries 

Businesses need to create workplace cultures that encourage switching off after work. The less you and your staff switch off, the faster you head towards burn out. There shouldn’t be any expectation to continue answering emails and calls after hours, and employees should feel at ease closing the laptop at the end of the day. Short breaks throughout the day should also be encouraged. These breaks aid in managing mental health, fatigue, and physical health. 

A clearly established hybrid working model can help employees to plan and utilise their time more productively at home, while coworking spaces provide a peaceful environment where meetings and collaboration is enjoyable and easier to manage. 

Intersect offers innovative a corporate coworking space in Adelaide and a network of business people who share similar values and working styles. If you’re looking for a great solution to hybrid working, reach out to us today. 

A note from one of our members: “Intersect is the perfect place to host meetings, network and work productively.” – Hannah Martin-Skerm, Adelaide Tuition Centre

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