the stats show screens are taking over our lives
In the UK, mentalhealth.org.uk reports that 38 million adults access the internet every day. That’s 76% of the adult population. Atomik Research claims the average UK adult spends more than 6 hours on a screen every day – that’s over 90 days per year!!!
On average, internet users aged 16 and over spend more than 20 hours online each week, and more than 70% have a social networking profile. Furthermore, The Telegraph reports that one in five of all adults spending as much as 40 hours a week on the web and a 2019 study by Ofcom found that nearly every adult in the UK uses a mobile phone (96%).
"it’s easy to see how our use of technology is impacting productivity"
what is tech doing to our wellbeing?
Technology and its effect on wellbeing and mental health has long been debated, with increasing evidence showing that overuse of technology can have a negative impact on wellbeing, productivity, and relationships.
In 2019, the all-party parliamentary group on social media and young people’s mental health and wellbeing released a report saying the social media addiction should be considered a disease. The World Health Organization also proposed adding ‘gaming disorder’ to the International Classification of Diseases manual.
Sleep deficit, anxiety, stress, and depression which are all associated with internet addiction, have been related to mobile phone usage too (De-Sola Gutiérrez et al., 2016)
There is no doubt that technology brings us together, but it also tears us apart. There are multiple research papers written about how relationships can be negatively impacted by smartphone use.
what about in the workplace?
Many employers are already taking action to ensure staff can disconnect out of hours. Volkswagen has configured its servers so emails can only be sent to employees phones from half an hour before the working day begins to half an hour after it ends and not at all during weekends. Other companies such as Tesco and the British Museum acknowledge the impact mobile phones can have on staff productivity and relationships, and have banned mobile phones from the workplace completely.
Being ‘switched on’ all of the time is also a subject of debate, with many employers taking action to ensure staff can disconnect out of hours. Volkswagen, has configured its servers so emails can be sent to employees phones from half an hour before the working day begins to half an hour after it ends only and not at all during weekends.
So, with all this considered, we think it might be time to have a techtimeout...
We've compiled a list of some of the most commonly asked questions about techtimeout.
Still got questions? Get in touch with us; we would love to chat with you about how tech impacts you, your family or your workplace and see if there are any ways that we can help.
With technology always by our side we don't always notice the signs of addiction. Remember you can be addicted to behaviours and it doesn't necessarily need to be destroying your life. We recommend taking some time to really take notice of your habits and take some time away from your phone, tablet and laptop and see if you experience any cravings.
Ask yourself, do you find yourself spending more time on technology than you would like to? Do you find checking your phone interrupts other activities and conversations? How do you feel when your phone runs out of battery?
We give you the knowledge and tools to make positive change at home and in the workplace. We do this with training, workshops and resources offering practical advice and actionable steps.
You can learn to stop and look up from your phone, tablet or laptop. You will be able to manage digital distractions, recognise when you're spending too long on your tech, and take control of your time to benefit productivity, wellbeing and focus.
It's hard to imagine a world without smartphones but really they're still a relatively new phenomenon. In 2019, it was estimated that 95% of households in the UK had a mobile phone - only 20 years before this figure was less than 50%. Because of this and the fact that technology is always evolving, there's not enough research to fully understand the long-term impact.
Research is still in its infancy but the findings and predictions so far are quite alarming. The links between overuse and addiction, mental health issues and declining productivity are becoming clearer. You can see more about the science here.
Yes, you can still take time out from tech without it impacting your ability to do your job. We love tech and the fact it allows us to work from anywhere at anytime. It's more a case of recognising any behaviours that are problematic such as mindless scrolling, compulsive checking and other addictive behaviours. By introducing boundaries and habits, you can thrive professionally and personally.
Don't worry, we're not encouraging people to throw away their phones completely. We're all for using technology in ways that helps you personally professionally. It's about finding a balance and reducing the amount of mindless and unconscious usage of technology. In fact, you will find employees are more productive and happier as a result.
what are people saying
We truly believe in the benefits of techtimeout, but don’t just take our word for it.
"The concept of being addicted to technology isn't something I'd particularly thought about previously. We all use tech in the office and we have innovated utilising technology across the business which has pushed us ahead of the curve for years. However techtimeout has given us a new appreciation of some of the negative impacts of technologies and how we can adapt our practices to be more mindful of these adverse effects."
Managing Director, National Hometyre Group
"The concept of techtimeout and the support around it has helped my team enjoy a healthier relationship with technology. In particular I’ve found our meetings are now more focused and more productive"
Managing Director, FBC Manby Bowdler
"We spend too much time living through technology rather than connecting in real life. It's lazy and it distracts you from fully experiencing what is happening in that moment. And none of that is good for our mental health."
Lead Clinical Psychologist