Digital Detox for More Productivity

Jan Schauenberg
5 July 2019

Do your employees seem to be permanently busy with important work, but there are still no financial results? One reason for this could be a collective "digital overload". Many CEOs still believe that permanent availability via email or telephone brings added value. However, the opposite is true. It leads to fatigue, exhaustion, and burnout among employees and thus to increasing personal costs for a company. Furthermore, multitasking, the ability to handle multiple things thrown at you, is something which is in fact no longer considered as an advantage in many companies. Studies show that instead it has become the greatest enemy of productivity.

Instead, countless open tabs in our laptop‘s browser, a tablet and a smartphone within easy reach ensure that we can't fully concentrate on one task anymore. You don’t believe me? According to some recent statistics, German companies lose about 150 to 190 trillion euros per year on average because of the unproductivity that is caused by a digital overload. Experts advise keeping an eye on the three "F’s" at the desk: filter, focus and forget. This includes consciously taking regular breaks from your computer and smartphone.

Turn off – Six simple rules to fight digital overload

There are a few simple measures which will provide your team with a digital detox, and protect you and them against information overload:

The most important rule in advance for this to work? Be a role model for your employees. Encouraging them to have a balanced life while you send them emails on a Sunday evening is definitely not the right way to go.

1. Bring structure to their everyday working life

Set clear goals and communicate them to your team. Experts advise that the working day should be clearly structured. This means that your team should, for example, make phone calls only during a certain time period. In addition, they should take a 15-minute break after 90 minutes of concentrated work.

2. Performance instead of attendance

Unproductive employees are expensive. Flexible working hours and the possibility of working from home or remotely makes it easier to balance work and family life. This can be a real motivation booster.

3. The end of multitasking

Multitasking not only makes you unproductive, but can also lead to serious health and psychological problems, such as burnout, in the long run. Employees must also learn to delegate tasks before they end up with too much on their plate.

4. Regulated times for emails

If you want to relax, and be fresh and focused at work on Monday morning, you have to really switch off over the weekend. The inbox should not be updated during this time, or after work either.

5. Life hacks for employees

Help your employees face the challenges of digital transformation and invest in workshops and seminars. Learning about new technological advancements is just as important as learning how to digitally detox.

6. Mobile-free break zone

Get creative to lure your workforce away from their smartphones. A mobile phone ban in the coffee kitchen forces employees to tear themselves away from the screen and instead socialize with colleagues, which in turn is great for improving teamwork as well as individual productivity.


Summing up all the tips, it can be said, that modern technology presents a great challenge to any workforce. Ensuring that your company and your employees have a healthy way of dealing with the digital overload will not only ensure that your workers are happy, it will also reduce the costs for dealing with burnout and unproductivity. So save your company quite some money and introduce a digital detox initiative.

Using this ebook, you can become an agent of change, successfully forging a path for your organization into the digital future. 

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