It’s funny how etiquette changes—and how we accept those changes. Yet throughout the meal I bet more than one person wondered whether the person they were talking to was only half concentrating—with the other half of their attention looking out for an ‘important’ email or social network alert.
Look. I am no dinosaur. I understand the tremendous benefits today’s amazing technology, particularly mobile and telecommunications technology, confers on business.
But I am very concerned about the effects of an ‘always on’ corporate culture, a concern which—it seems—researchers at Harvard Business School now share following their recent study of 1,400 Boston Consulting Group (BCG) employees.
Harvard’s Professor Leslie Perlow carried out the study when she discovered that 26% of BCG employees out of a sample of 1,600 managers and professionals slept with Blackberries or iPhones by their beds.
The study required that BCG sample employees be banned from monitoring their work after 6 pm once a week. This down time was given the acronym PTO, or Predictable Time Off.
The outcome? Predictable Time Off got predictable results. 59 per cent of those who embraced PTO agreed with the statement ‘I am excited to start work in the morning’ compared with 27 per cent of those who dismissed PTO. And 78% of those who now enjoying one evening off per week said they felt satisfied with their jobs, compared with 67% of those partly accepting PTO and 49% of those who rejected it.
Other research results confirmed that the performance of those employees who were always on was variable.
‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. There’s a reason these old adages stand the test of time you know!
So PTO please. Predictable Time Off - and (to use PTO’s older meaning)… Please Turn Over a new leaf. That way we can all enjoy our meal outings, our personal lives and a renewed enthusiasm for our work.
Tags: amazing technology bcg blackberries boston consulting group corporate culture dinosaur down time dull boy harvard business school iphones leslie perlow old adages personal lives predictable results professor leslie results smart phone telecommunications technology test of time time off turn over a new leaf