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.