Employers encourage employees to unplug at home

WASHINGTON – In a continuously-connected society, some employers assume that because employees have smartphones, they are available to work-around-the-clock.

In the past, being reachable around-the-clock may have proved favorable in the workplace for employers. However, The New York Times reports that some employers are setting digital boundaries so their employees can manage a healthier work-life balance.

The recently published article gives an example of this new trend with Seattle- based brand development company Centric Brand Anthropology. The business urges its workers to bring their spouses on long business trips and to take time for themselves when they travel.

Similarly, a Chicago company, Empower Public Relations, asks its employees to turn off their smartphones on nights and weekends, and Global technology company Atos pledged to get rid of all internal email. Instead, Atos encourages employees to talk to each other, face-to-face.

Leslie Perlow, professor of leadership at Harvard Business School, tells The New York Times that employees are not the only ones benefiting from these new policies, Companies benefit as well, since unplugging after work increases productivity.

Sherry Turkle, professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT, agrees. She says the devotion people have to their devices gets in the way of business, and she thinks more companies will make policy changes similar to these in the future.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report. Follow @mbaschWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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