Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Are Smartphones Killing Your Life?

There's no doubt that smartphones have changed our lives mostly for the better, but when is it time to switch off? We are in a 24/7 world in terms of communication access, but we don't have to work 24/7 and we need to learn to disconnect. Take the holidays for example, there are people who are compelled to write emails, send texts or even call. And since your smartphone device is your connection to your family and friends as well, it's not practical to switch it completely off. So what do you do?

A simple solution is to learn to use Google Voice as your business number. Sign up for a free account, choose your number and have it be your virtual telephone system. When on vacation or out of business hours, check the "Do Not Disturb" and all your calls will go to voicemail and even be transcribed to email. If you use this Google Voice number as your outgoing specified number, you can even text from this number on your cell phone app

One other useful tool for online businesses or anyone with an online presence, is to use your Google Voice number on your website. If you get unwanted calls, it is very easy to block that caller forever. 

The time we are spending on our devices while out of work has become almost a compulsion than a necessity, and ultimately it does affect our productivity. In fact some employers have become concerned especially since the Fair Labor Standards Act has strict rules on overtime for American workers who are paid by the hour. If such workers are specifically asked to attend to emails after hours, then the employer owes that employee the overtime.

So is it the fault of technology or just bad managers who don't know how to delegate, or are afraid to lose their control?


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