22 Jan Banishing Email And Mobile Addiction Boosts Health And Wealth

Staying permanently connected to mobile phones and emails can be bad for the bottom line, according to the broadsheet press.
Guardian journalist Holly Baxter writes of the ‘dubious privilege’ of being issued with an office smartphone or Blackberry, which often comes with the assumption that the employee becomes contactable outside their contracted hours. Her article warns that constant distraction may lead to poor business decisions and missed targets. She says some employers are waking up to the negative impact mobile technology can have on staff productivity and cites Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington’s experiences with ‘burnout’, which led her to issue a diktat to staff to take proper breaks and not to answer emails out of work hours.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph lists the seven deadly email sins, which occupational psychologists say can harm the mental health of workers. Again, the traits with the greatest impact on health are those linked to constant connectivity – email addiction and instant ‘ping pong’ response to messages. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/10568154/Revealed-workers-seven-de…
Increased ownership of mobiles and smartphones has sparked a move towards a 24/7 work culture, which can interrupt employees’ downtime and potentially damage their health.  Answering the phone is still key to business growth, with a massive 80 per cent share of incoming business arriving via the handset. Put simply, missed calls lead to missing revenue. Sickness, annual leave and even lunch breaks can put added pressure on microbusinesses and SMEs, with those left in the office having to down tools and grab the phone whenever it rings.
MessageBase can help put businesses back in control ensuring they do not miss vital calls with a range of telephone answering and message-taking packages.  The service is tailored to the needs of the individual business, with services operating within working hours or 24/7, allowing employees to deal with priority calls at designated times. Out of hours cover packages mean employees can leave their work at the office and come back refreshed in the morning.
A ‘virtual receptionist’ costs a small percentage of the price of an employee and can take the place of an in-house staff member. They can also deal with ‘overflow’ calls or allow colleagues to be redirected to other tasks, away from ringing phones. For example, a virtual receptionist could provide cover during sickness and leave, meaning colleagues in sales, marketing or finance could continue with their own work uninterrupted, without having to scrabbling for the phone when it rings.
Mobile technology has revolutionised the way we work and do business. The challenge now is to create rules, boundaries, or bring in extra help along the way, to alleviate the negative effects that being permanently ‘switched on’ can have on business owners and employees.
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