Sam Chapman, chief executive of Empower Public Relations in Chicago, said he used to feel phantom vibrations and frequently read and sent e-mail on his BlackBerry in the middle of the night. He slept poorly, did not feel refreshed in the morning and considered himself addicted. “I wanted to make sure that what happened to me didn’t happen to my employees,” he said.
So Mr. Chapman adopted what he called a BlackBerry blackout policy. He and his staff of about 20 turn off their BlackBerrys from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. on weekdays and completely on weekends for all work-related use, with rare exceptions. “When I’m well rested, I show up to work ready to go,” he said.
He maintains that regimen while traveling, and said the policy had increased company productivity.
Hmmm. I wonder how long it will take companies to realise that imposing a culture that burns out their employees is counter productive.
What is even harder to beat is the fear/ego driven (delete as applicable) motivation of the individual to “prove” that he/she is the hardest and most committed worker in the company and thus the most indispensable and worthy of a promotion/pay rise (delete as applicable). That, people, is a choice we need to make based on values – if money and success are our inner core motivation, this will be hard to escape. If we do what we do for the sake of love – even our work – then it changes everything. Love is a wonderful master. Fear/ego is a terrible task master. Love motivates us to serve the company we work for, be committed to our jobs, yet more committed to our families. Problem is love doesn’t sell as well and most CEO’s would never be convinced that it would lead to better business.
Yet, I remain inspired by a colleague who said (as an aside when there was a threat that the business could downsize): “I don’t just come here to get a paycheck, I love what I do”