We’re more connected than ever, there’s no doubt about it – the ways we wind down and relax have changed. But, as we head into the hottest month of the year and a slew of long weekends, is our tech stopping us from taking a proper break?
Spark’s Head of Business Channels, Greg Clark, says that while mobile technologies can ensure we’re always connected, even when we’re trying to forget work, for time-poor SMEs it can be the difference between heading away, or staying near the office.
“Running a business is a twenty-four-seven job, and we know that for a lot of SMEs, it can be hard to find time to take a break, even if it’s just for the weekend,” says Clark.
“Those who are able to work remotely have the option of heading away more often with family and friends, while keeping across things that are business-critical.”
Recent data from social enterprise Digital Journey reveals that 68.9% of SMEs can access work IT services when they are away from the office.* Clark says that while mobile technology enables SMEs to connect to their business as they need, it doesn’t mean it has to take over.
“Your tech should work for you, and enable you to do more and go further with your business. That means using it in smart ways.”
It’s a mantra shared by Wendy Thompson, owner of Social Media agency Socialites.
“As someone who relies on social media for my job, it’s definitely something I need to stay plugged into throughout the break. But the neat thing is it also lets me work from anywhere and at any time, which makes it easy to set boundaries that fit with my family, rather than the other way around.”
Thompson says she limits emails to morning and evenings while away with family. She also has a ‘no phones at the dinner table’ rule. Turning off email and social media notifications (in settings – notifications), lets her use her phone to take photos of her daughters throughout their holiday, without getting distracted by the “addictive” red notification buttons that can pop up next to apps.
Clark agrees that a few simple setting changes can make a big difference for anyone needing to stay connected during weekend breaks. He also suggests using the ‘do not disturb’ function so only certain people can make contact, and keeping files online, in the cloud so team members can quickly refer to them without having to ask.
“Business owners used to have to stay home or near a phone – you couldn’t just go camping or hang out at the beach all day. Now, mobile technology can help you do both, giving you an edge in business even when you’re taking a well-earned break.”