DeMOBILIzation – MVS takes the lead in work-life balance
First of all, congratulations is in order for all MVS team members who have wholeheartedly supported company mandate for DeMOBILIzation.
By DeMOBILIzation, we don’t mean that we are going to stop moving or become more tied to our desks. #TeamMVS has agreed to not use our mobile phones while we are in the office during business working hours. At MVS, we are striving to improve the work-life balance of our employees and one important aspect of this effort is to allow our employees to have a satisfying and productive day at work. This way they go-back home with a true sense of accomplishment.
Some thoughts in your mind as you read this post:
- My cell phone is my life and I cannot LIVE without it
- I have all my CONTACTS on my cell phone
- Everyone in the world calls me ONLY on my cell phone
- I always keep my cell phone with me for any EMERGENCIES
- Everyone in the universe now communicates with me on WHATSAPP
- Where will I leave my cellphone during office hours? Will it be safe?
There are some reactions which AREN’T VOCALIZED, such as:
- I do all my shopping on my cellphone – FLIPKART, AMAZON etc.
- I check facebook, instagram, whatsapp – how can I remain “in-touch” with the world if I don’t have access to these?
- If I don’t respond during the day, my friends will think of me as un-social
- Feel free to add more in the comments section!
Let’s take a brief look at this in our “working life”:
We all want to have “less stress”.
Less stress is possible if we improve our productivity.
Productivity is improved when we have less distractions.
Lesser distractions are possible when we aren’t continously bombarded by alerts and notifications of Whatsapp, Facebook etc.
Business owner’s viewpoint
From the business owner’s viewpoint, having higher productivity is obviously desirable because it allows costs to be kept low and quality of work/products to improve as a result. Better quality improves the bottomline, which has a positive effect on the company’s ability to offer better incentives to its workforce. Furthermore, a business owner will argue that they are paying their employees for the work they do in the office during office hours and hence any personal work being done by an employee during work hours is a violation of the implicit employer-employee work ethic agreement.
When we are less distracted, the chances of errors is drastically reduced as we can focus better on the task at hand and also be aware of our environment where we work. Lesser errors means better work quality and better work quality means lesser stress and more pay as pointed out earlier.
The interesting thing about all of the viewpoints above is that we all know this is “common sense” and not something many will disagree with. So why is it that when we talk about letting go of our mobile phones for a few hours, most react in a way as if taking away the mobile phone is like taking their life away? Interesting.. isn’t it?
Mobile phones have become an unnecessary and unwarranted addiction without many of us realizing it. The realization only sets in when we talk about taking the very essence of this addiction away, that is, the mobile phone.
What MVS did?
To address some of the major concerns that are legitimate in today’s age, here is what we did:
1) Lockers provision
Employees are able to bring their mobile phones to work, but check them into mobile lockers and keep the key with them during the day. This way, their mobile phone remains safe and key remains in their custody
2) Emergency calls
a) Employees have all been instructed to share our company board number (011) 49997000 with their close family members. This number is always answered
b) Most employees have a direct phone with extensions. This way they can be reached directly without having the caller go through an operator
3) Calls received on mobiles
Employees on corporate calling plans have had their plans switched to unlimited calls and those who are not on corporate plans have been requested to contact their phone operator for a plan change. Employees have been shown how to turn on call forwarding to their desk phone before they check-in the phone into their locker. This way, all calls received on their mobiles are automatically forwarded to their desk phone.
4) Instant messaging
Whatsapp, while convenient, is not a desirable mode of communication for official work. Hence, we implemented SLACK and now all our inter-office instant messaging is being done on SLACK.
For android phone owners, Google sync makes all the contacts available on contacts.google.com. iPhone owners can either choose to sync their contact to google or to iCloud and can similarly access their contacts through the browser.
3-weeks in… reactions
Majority of TeamMVS has not only supported our move to DeMOBILIZe, but also given very positive feedback on this move. Employees have reported that they can now better focus on their work without constant beeping of their phones. We are certain that in the months to come, most employees will experience that letting go of their mobile phones was not as hard as they originally thought and that it truly has been beneficial for their mental health and lesser stress.