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Where’s the off switch?

One third of us can’t switch off from work……

…..due to the connectivity that technology gives us a fifth (18%) of people say they feel as though they are under surveillance. 17% say remote access to the workplace makes them anxious and impacts their sleep quality. 40% of people say that they always or occasionally check their work emails from home (figures from a recent survey by the CIPD: Employee Outlook Survey Spring 2017).

It is true that we have the ability to be more available than ever before.

Decisions or conversations no longer need to wait until tomorrow morning.  Business is done at all times of the day and night.  Even when we are not actively engaged in a conversation with someone, there’s a good chance that somewhere in our mind we are thinking about it.


The truth is that we have the ability to be “on” all the time, but the other truth is that we have a choice about whether or not we are!

Granted there will be some situations where we need to have an evening or early morning meeting because we are talking to someone in a different time zone and perhaps by doing so we are making life easier for them.  However, there are a lot of times when we allow ourselves to be contacted.  In fact we encourage it by being on-line.  So people can see the green tick on Skype, or the green bubble on Facebook.  They can see that we regularly send e-mails at 11pm.  These all give signs to people that we are available and (unwittingly on our part perhaps) set expectations about our availability.

As I write this it is National Mental Health Awareness week in the UK and so it seems pertinent to pause and consider the short and long term implications of not choosing to switch off.  Not choosing to set boundaries and manage expectations about our time.

The critical point is, if we don’t choose how we spend our time…..someone else will!

Choose for you.  Find your off switch and use it!


  1. As I’m reading this at 2208 I think it’s definitely time to be reviewing my time to switch off buttons! Thank you ?

  2. Thanks Susan – food for thought – your right, we do have the choice to set expectations! If we don’t someone else will do it for us…I like your screen shot of slide to power off, a clever message linked to our day to day life. Since it is Sunday, I will now go and turn off my green light on Skype…:)

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