Unplug to Connect
By Peter Schuyler, Account Manager
In a recent article from CNN, Apple CEO Tim Cook lamented the modern challenge employees face as members of the digital workforce — we use our phones too much. The need to stay connected can often overshadow other activities that require attention and focus, such as being present in a meeting. Meetings are perhaps one of the most important drivers of innovation and action a company can leverage. Getting your team in a room to trade ideas or drill down on a difficult problem can strengthen work relationships and hone a shared company language, but only if everyone in the room is unencumbered by distracting devices.
Companies such as Skift have gone the extra mile in policing device use at meetings by banning them from board and huddle rooms. The move highlights the importance of respect in the workplace — if you’re on your phone in a meeting, you aren’t fully engaged and are doing a disservice to your team. When workplaces make sure employees unplug to connect with each other, the benefits are almost immediate:
- Increased brainstorming and communication — With 100% of attendees’ attention turned toward the conversation in the room, it is much more likely that ideas will flow more freely in a meeting. Coworkers will be more comfortable bouncing ideas off each other when they have the team’s undivided attention.
- Limited distractions and redundancies — Eliminating sources of distraction will ensure that conversations only need to happen once. Nobody enjoys recapping material that’s already been covered because one person in the room had to finish a text or an email before joining the conversation that was already in progress.
- Shorter meeting times — When you have a meeting that is device-free, employees can pool skills and tackle problems more effectively. This will result in shorter overall meetings which — let’s be honest — is what everyone wants anyway. Shorter meetings also mean that employees have more time to focus on their daily work, with the added bonus of being a part of an effective, productive team.
Unplug! Connect! Collaborate! Produce!