The Days of our Working Lives

Work.

We all have to do it so we can also play, right?!

But did you know that the average person spends one third of their life working, or as this Huff Post piece points out, just over 13 years of life at work, with an extra year on top in unpaid overtime.

You'll also spend more than 11 years looking at screens - yep, let that sink in.

That’s between 90,000 and 100,000 hours.

Exhausted thinking about it?!

We hear you…

 
 

And as for the screen time...well, you know how the Stay Unplugged crew feel about that (if not, take a read about switching off the tech!)

So, given how much time we spend at work, we obviously also spend a hell of a lot of time with our workmates. Even if you take into account that on average we change jobs around 12 times throughout our working lives, we’re still going to spend more than a year of our lives with each set of workmates - and that’s not including Friday knock-off drinks...

Now, we’re not saying this is a bad thing! Hopefully you come from a great workplace where you and your coworkers get on just fine, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to spend too much time with them once the working day is done, right?

Which begs the question, why would you want to go on a digital detox retreat with them!?

Fair call.

Here’s why.

 
 

The Benefits Go Beyond the Obvious
Convincing your staff (and yourself!) to organise a digital detox retreat is not as hard as you might think.


Despite many of us relying heavily on digital devices in both our professional and personal lives, the benefits of attending a Stay Unplugged digital detox retreat will be evident almost immediately.

PAY ATTENTION!

Ok, so we got your attention by yelling on the interwebs, but the point we wanted to make is that attention spans are waning (are you checking the notification that just popped up on your smartphone as you’re reading - STOP!!)

As this 2018 article from The Guardian points out, digital tech is decreasing attention spans at alarming rates, which, when added to the ‘noise’ our constant access to tech has brought into our lives, can lead to a loss of clarity and focus.  

The notion of return on Investment (ROI) is huge when trying to manage the balance sheet, and so any management or business owner investing in a digital detox retreat will justifiably want to see some tangible, quantifiable results. After just a few days on a digital detox retreat, the ROI from dialling down the noise our devices layer into our daily lives will be seen in both a marked improvement in attention spans and enhanced clarity of mind as the absence of devices helps those on our retreats emerge from the digital fog.

Bottom line: employees who can focus longer and with more sharpness are clearly on their way to working more efficiently and productively.

 
 

Stronger teams are better teams

So, we’ve already dropped the hard stats on just how much time we spend with our co-workers, but how well do we really know them?

Sure, we know they like a cafe latte as their morning coffee (one sugar, extra hot, almond milk if they have it, if not soy), or have seen photos of their family on their desk, or hear on a weekly basis about their football team winning (or losing) on the weekend, but more broadly we probably know far less about them than we think we do.

And there are other colleagues we know almost nothing about.

Now, we’re not saying you need to be besties with your workmates, but taking some time out on digital detox retreat is a way to get to know them better than and re-imagine how best to work together as a team. The range of group activities Stay Unplugged organises are not just the same old yawn-inspiring team building exercises you may have done before. We offer innovative, interesting and often fun ways to improve team cohesion and make strong teams even stronger, while giving your employees the chance to see each other through different eyes.

Sleep, perchance to…sleep

As this piece on sleep and digital devices points out, tech is affecting our healthy sleeping habits by:

  1. Suppressing melatonin (the natural chemical in our brain that regulates how the brain reacts to light)

  2. Keeping our brain alert because of the blue light they emit as we scroll through endless apps or the likes before we go to bed

  3. Waking us up with those annoying notifications

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (who is too sleepy from all that tech anyway) to see that a digital detox retreat offers the chance to reset your relationship with sleep.

No, this doesn’t mean we’re going to let you sleep in every day (OK, maybe one day…), but without those pesky devices that are smashing our once good, pre-device sleeping habits, you have the chance to break up with bad sleep and reconnect with peaceful slumber.

And if you sleep better, you’re going to work better.

Simple.

Happy brains = happy workers!

While some in the mental health space are working on ways tech can help with stress and mental health, there is plenty of research highlighting the darker side of tech when it comes to mental health.

As this great piece The Effects of Technology on Mental Health points out, there are a range of studies that raise concerns about digital and tech (and all that comes with it) leading to significant negative trends around mental health outcomes.

While we’re not suggesting that using tech alone leads to poor mental health or advanced stress or anxiety, nor suggesting that a digital detox retreat will solve anyone’s broader mental health issues, the fact that a range of studies have been able to draw lines between the two points a retreat acting as circuit breaker in relieving stress, offering space away from some of the negative impacts digital might have on mental health.

 
 

Taking time out to just breathe (the air on the Faroes - like nothing on earth), to see the world through your actual eyes instead of the social media feed of others, and for your mind to escape the busy-ness that comes with digital, will be for many a soothing balm for the soul.

Besides the benefits we’ve mentioned above, the value add of a retreat is that your employees will also feel rewarded for their hard work. While the primary aim of the digital detox retreat is to ultimately help your team be more productive and creative in their roles, this investment in them as humans will also make them feel valued - more than just human capital.

Digital detox retreats are a win-win on every level, so what are you waiting for, contact us today and let’s get your crew unplugged so they can plug into being the most productive (and happy!) workers they can be

Hana Javurkova