It started several months ago, when a group of Baudville staff went to lunch, and, at the start of the meal, challenged each other to put their phones in the center of the table—facedown. The first person to succumb to the urge and check for a text, or email,or Facebook like, would have to pay foreveryone's lunch. The stakes were high,and nobody even flinched. But, once the group disassembled, every one of them immediately turned on and tuned in—to the tiny screen held in their hands.
Weeks later, another challenge was posed to the same team: could they do a week-long digital detox? In essence, they would treat their smartphones like landlines, leaving them in one spot for the duration, only to be used for phonecalls. A couple of them volunteered, but the rest declined, citing a number of different (some flimsy) excuses.
This got us thinking: technology really has a grip on us. This is not breaking news, of course, but we wondered, "What are the implications of it in the workplace?" And,"What other modern conditions, resultant from technology or not, are wreaking havoc on offices and organizations worldwide?"
In this issue, we'll explore what we're calling 21st World Problems. The first decade-plus of the new century has brought us: social networking, smartphones, Generation Net, unlimited connectivity, and instant gratification—and each of these is evolving by the minute. Knowing how to respond to and navigate the rapid change, when to write policies and when to convey unwritten rules—it's all a delicate balance. Read on: we'll keep you on your feet; better yet, on your toes!
Did you know....?
*Statistic sources: vitalsmarts.com, bna.com, and ibtimes.com