We are a 24/7 military. This basic premise includes many concepts which are becoming more prevalent. It is becoming more common for leaders to be issued smartphones, mirroring their civilian business counter-parts. It enables easy communication on multiple mediums (phone, text, email) at any time of the day, and can be a highly effective when used properly. But what about when it is misused?
Many of us remember a time before cell phones. When business was conducted during certain hours of the day and common decency restricted the times when people would call each other. The same should be true today. Leaders often receive emails late in the evening with the expectation that they will have read, understood, and dedicated time to resolve the issue or create a new brief by the time they arrive at work in the morning.
This further reduces the capability of people to have the professional and personal life balance that they find both in the home and in the office. There is a basic recognition that to be effective, people need to be provided the time to recover both their capabilities and sensibilities by getting away from work at the end of the day.
There is always the exception of course, an emergency or a recall formation for a major event, but for the vast majority of instances, it can wait until the morning.
Removing oneself from the work environment has many positive benefits. It allows employees to clear their head from the day’s stress, realigning their state of mind to a calmer one. A calm mind is more open to ideas, developing solutions, and identifying connections. This leads to greater productivity later. Disconnecting enables people to take care of the personal things that build up. While at work, many employees do not have the ability to step away. If these issues are not resolved, they will create additional stress on the employee, further diminishing their capabilities at work.
When leaders and employees work during their off time, this creates burdens on the family as well. Juggling the requirements of the home and work are challenging enough, but to toss additional unpredictability into the mix can create an environment of hostility that spills over into the professional life.
When employees disconnect, organizations as a whole benefit. Burnout and resentment is reduced and people show up at work rested and ready to perform. The 24/7 use of technology by employees and managers has a lasting effect on the organization as a whole. It breeds an environment that can slowly eat away at the foundation of the company, increasing turnover and frustration amongst employees. It also shows a lack of respect by senior leaders for their subordinate’s time.
The expression is still true today – “A failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.” Good leadership plans well in advance, identifies and accepts risk during, and recognizes the value of an employee and their time throughout.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.