Strategic Ethical Solutions, Int., LLC.

"Leadership Grounded in Ethical Practice"




151 West 7th Street

Cincinnati, OH 45202

How to Unplug in our 24/7 Culture

I once heard it said that technology is the best, and worst thing that has ever happened to our society. I would have to share that I absolutely agree with this contradictory statement.

Some obvious benefits of being constantly connected to everyone and everything is mobility. Mobility for bosses and their employees, and the constituents that they service. Information is literally at one's fingertips. No longer do students go to college to learn all that is available to be learned. They learn where to go to link to the information they need when it is needed.

An unintended downside is the stress and fatigue that comes along with constant connectivity. This is particularly difficult to manage when workers interact with others in different time zones, literally that can reach around the world. The other instance that exacerbates this issue is when working styles of bosses and employees are not in sync. An example I can share is of a particular CEO, who was very fond of going to the office on Sunday afternoons. For him, the quiet and solitude provided an excellent chance to go through emails, and catch up on overdue issues that had gotten lost in translation the week before. What he did not realize, was that with each email that went out of his box, the resultant, "ping!" that sounded in the inbox of his management team was a constant disruption of their weekend. The direct reports either felt compelled to respond, although this was not the expectation of the CEO, or they found their stress levels rising as the pings increased. Some of them reported feeling defeated walking in the door on Monday mornings because they already knew they were a good eight hours or so behind their boss.

How can the two different styles accommodate one another? In this case, it was fairly simple. The CEO continued to go into the office on Sundays, but held his emails in queue for delivery on Monday morning. That way, he accomplished what he felt he needed to in order to relax, and his direct reports got to enjoy Sunday afternoons uninterrupted by work issues.

If the leader and team members make it a priority to listen to one another, compromises can be made that will help everyone work more efficiently and effectively. SES can be instrumental in helping to find a pathway through this challenge!