My background is in tech and I’ve fully emerged myself in the world of digital innovations for over two decades now.
This awe of the latest gadgets and innovative tools grew as an inseparable part of mine, slowly and certainly turning me to a slave of power outlets and 4G connectivities wherever I go.
And I always get fascinated whenever I read a modern story of users who never owned a smartphone or technicians who refuse to switch to laptops and increase their mobility.
But instead of tormenting myself about my unhealthy obsession of the latest and greatest introduced by the great Asian minds and the digital titans of Silicon Valley, I had attuned my lifestyle to a comfortable alternative (and here’s why you should consider a similar approach, too).
The glory of cofficing was among the leading reasons I quit my full-time job to pursue an employment as an entrepreneur. Back in the 80s, this would have been nearly impossible: before the era of portable computers and phones, lack of Internet connectivity, archaic conference calls (and even the old fashioned phone booths on every other corner).
Technology can creep in and overtake our evenings and weekends, but alternatively enables us to take breaks throughout the day, occasionally work remotely, and be “on call” if truly needed.
In a similar fashion, running errands is more tolerable with your email in your pocket and smart earbuds or headphones while walking or in the subway.
The opportunity to head out for an hour without questioning the sustainability of your business is nowadays possible, considering the myriad of flexible notifications messengers provide, nearly-free mobile Internet, and pocket computers nearly as powerful as your main workstation.
Being In Control
The most dreadful reason for adhering to a 9-to-5 job without proactively working is “being connected”.
Being “in touch” with your team. Not missing a single moment.
Frequently refreshing your support system (or staying alert for client calls on your desk).
Every smart device nowadays maintains a diverse set of notifications for you to configure for maximum efficiency.
“Push notifications” don’t have to be a nightmare. Heading home and only triggering them for your critical business communication results in a relaxing evening, resting assured that no critical emergencies occurred while you were “irresponsibly away from work”.
This is where my smartwatch is purely indispensable. I could charge my phone, prepare a quick snack, or even watch a movie. Even while driving or standing in a crowded space, my watch notifies me if and only an important alert requires my attention.
“Successful managers work ON the business, not IN the business.”
I was driving a few months back, listening to a marketing podcast by Neil Patel and Eric Siu, when an episode prompted in regards to the opportunities an iPad presents.
As an Android aficionado myself, my mixed feelings nearly clouded my judgment while the intro music ran in the background.
But I thought an invaluable lesson this very day: a tablet is a wonderful teacher when it comes to delegation.
The lack of proper controls (such as a keyboard and a mouse) virtually “cripple” you when it comes to effectively getting the job done yourself. And instead of limiting the progress of your staff, it acts as a progressive mechanism that points you to the solution of all management problems: delegation.
Tablets are a horrible instrument for executing assignments, but a wonderful tool for reviewing team reports and statistics or assigning tasks.
Turning the disadvantage into a benefit can empower your staff to take charge and shine.
Collaboration applications like Slack or Workplace by Facebook strongly stress on text-based communication. While calls are supported, they are hardly enforced — especially considering remote working or telecommuting and the odds of being stuck with low bandwidth at the time.
Text is constraining in multiple ways, fully shielding the communication nuances conveyed through body language, voice, facial expressions, and more.
As digital devices enable you to be “on the go”, this presents a fresh opportunity: recording video responses or weekly welcome messages for your staff.
Instead of drafting yet another textual report or a weekly kick-off email, pick the GoPro or your smartphone, turn the notorious “selfie mode” on, smile, and spend the next few minutes greeting your invaluable team while aligning the weekly priorities or responding to their problems.
One of our Blue-chip clients switched to this approach, sending our team a weekly Monday kick-off personalized video, and it makes all the difference. He even took his 5-year-old daughter while recording last time, making the whole experience so much more personal.
While a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the scale of a personalized video tailored to your team.
Technology Is Good
Every great invention can become a prison without the right attitude or strategy. But instead of condemning technology altogether, embrace it and find creative ways to improve your own lifestyle and increase the quality of work while accepting technology adoption as a greater good.
Technology isn’t going anywhere either. With Internet of Things, robotics, and augmented reality, our homes and conversations will become more digitalized than ever. Accept this new era of innovation early on and control the narrative with the best intentions in mind.