Practical alternatives to the ‘always on’ lifestyle
German businessman and writer Markus Alber, author of the recently launched book Digitale Erschöpfung (‘Digital Exhaustion’), was interviewed on German TV last week and he made some hard-hitting points about the epidemic of smartphone-addiction and its effect on our work-life balance.
Cloud-based virtual collaboration, automated communication tools, hot-desking and a new commercial culture of being “always on”: these are all taking their toll on employees. The promises of the New Work Movement, that it would free us from the chains of 9-to-5 and vacuous presenteeism, have not come to fruition. Instead, we are seeing an increasing shift towards working always and everywhere – to the detriment of our productivity, creativity, and health.
As an entrepreneur himself, Markus was initially a supporter of these working methods, but he became more and more sceptical over time. After a friend of his took part in Punkt.’s first Digital Detox Challenge he contacted us and was supplied with an MP 01 to use while he explored ways of creating a balanced relationship with communication technology; this book is the result of his research, and offers practical ways for employers, employees, politicians, and society as a whole to fight the trend towards the ‘always on, never here’ way of being.
Digitale Erschöpfung is published by Hanser (currently in German only), and is available from Amazon.