2 quick facts to make a case for tech-free zones and how best to implement them

Blog
July 1, 2022

Especially in covid times and the increase in hybrid workplaces, the barrier between professional and private life has become smaller and smaller in recent years. A short episode of your favorite Netflix show during your lunch break is pretty common nowadays. Answering a work E-Mail quickly on your smartphone in the evening unfortunately too.

Ultimately, this leads to us being “always-on” and making it more and more difficult to really slow down. In addition, regular internet escapades cause massive damage to the environment and cause your own CO₂e footprint to skyrocket.

Technology-free zones counteract this and offer a place to relax, which at the same time ensures that CO₂e emissions are reduced.

With today's blog you can find out why you, as a Consumption-Bully, should introduce exactly these technology-free zones in your company (or even in your home) and how you do it.

Fact 1: Tech-free zones as a Peacekeeper

According to the analysis platform "App-Annie", the average cell phone user has a screen time of 3.7 hours a day!

Constantly checking notifications can keep you from going into deep focus when pondering a problem or simply pursuing ideas. Although social interaction leads to short-term feelings of happiness, it prevents us from thinking critically in the long term and makes us less likely to reach a state of true relaxation. In his book Deep Work, author Cal Newport describes a so-called attention residue. This is a state that arises from shifting attention from one task to another. This is responsible that it always takes a few minutes before you're fully engaged. An attention deficit, so to speak, that prevents us from Deep Work(ing). Full concentration on one task.

Newport also has the right solution for being constantly distracted: Embrace Boredom. What he means by that: Our brain needs rest after phases of concentration in order to process and internalize. This regeneration process is disturbed by any little distraction.

Technology-free zones are therefore enjoying increasing appreciation in companies, and help to provide a place for the necessary regeneration between phases of mental stimulation.

Fact 2: Tech-free zones as climate guardians

In addition to mental health, regular Internet escapades also harm the environment. In 2020 around 34.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide were emitted into the air. According to calculations, it is assumed that around 2.1 to 3.9% of this amount was caused by internet use. In order to be always on call and consume various social media channels, we need huge data centers that are kept running with large amounts of electricity. In the event of a power failure, emergency generators run regularly, mostly powered by diesel engines the size of a steam locomotive. So it is high time to take initiatives and reduce the digital CO₂e footprint. Besides turning off the camera in virtual meetings (96% less CO₂e compared to meetings with cameras on), tech-free zones can be the way to create less CO₂e from internet use in the workplace.

So those have been our 2 quick facts for technology-free zones in your company. If you are now wondering what to do with it and how exactly you can introduce those. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Step-by-step: how to implement tech-free zones?

In tech-free zones, you can very well introduce activities such as yoga, fitness or even meditation. A so-called "nap room" for a short rest and to gain strength is also conceivable. Basically, it makes sense to declare places like the kitchen or the dining room as technology-free. At least you could consider preventing laptops from being brought into this room so that there is relaxation and the lunch break location is not disturbed by work.

How do you get distracted employees off their smartphones or laptops and into the Internet-free zone(s)?

Best of all, by making this zone as comfortable and relaxing as possible! Insulated walls keep the noise away, comfortable chairs or armchairs invite you to sit down. In addition, yoga mats or meditation cushions can create an incentive to devote yourself to recharging activities.

Listen to the needs of colleagues, who may already have an idea on ​​how to make the tech-free space more attractive for everyone. Quiet music and a table with fresh fruit may be desired. It is important that the lounge comes alive and invites you to linger!

The selection of the location for the technology-free zone must also be carefully considered. Data collection shows that people are more willing to use the space when it is close to the individual workplace. Even more likely if it provides access to a place outside. If that is not feasible, plants and large windows can convey an outdoor feeling.

Finally, once the tech-free zone is in place, it should be communicated within the organization. You can start an information campaign, or encourage department heads and managers to share the news with their colleagues and to recommend it. It is important to emphasize the advantages of such a zone and to create a culture in which regeneration is encouraged and valued and not ridiculed. Ultimately, a tech-free zone does nothing for mental well-being if it creates even more work-related stress afterwards. This blog post will give you some facts to share with the team. If you would like more information, just have a look at our Sustainability Taskforce section.

If you have now introduced a tech-free zone in your company, then use it yourself as often as possible. Your co-workers will sooner or later start doing so too.

Our tip: If, for example, the boss is regularly found in the technology-free room at a certain time of the week and optimally seems to be even more exuberant and stress-free, she can demonstrate healthy behavior to the entire team which will inspire them to take some digital detox time too!

Start your journey with Clime today!

And benefit from a more sustainable culture and happy employees.

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