Thursday, December 9, 2010

Technology – The Bigger Picture

This past November, SIRC had the pleasure of attending the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Conference hosted by the Coaching Association of Canada, in Ottawa. This event is where top coaches, sport administrators, coach educators, leaders in the corporate community, and sport scientists come together to connect, learn, network, and celebrate together.

One of the sessions was about social media and the bigger picture. One of the three presenters was Dr. Linda Duxbury, a professor at Carleton University. Her presentation was not so much about social media, but the bigger picture behind it. She spoke about how technology is supposed to make our lives easier and more efficient. Her studies have shown quite the opposite. Our time in work has increased, thanks to laptops, blackberry’s and other portable devices, but this is a poor measure of productivity. Our work load has also increased, where our leisure time has decreased. This can only mean one thing; technology is hurting our quality of life.

Dr. Duxbury also brought up that we need to establish email etiquette. Just like phone etiquette, email etiquette is just as important since many of us communicate via email on a daily basis. But is email causing us more stress? It only takes 50 emails per day to cause stress to the average person. People are sending and receiving an average of 71 emails per day, with some receiving upwards of 200. This can only mean, people are sending and receiving work related emails outside of work hours. With access to work through mobile devices, workers are finding it increasingly difficult to “switch-off” from work. Studies have shown that there is a need for organizations to educate their employees, about the importance of strategic unwinding post work to optimize the quality of leisure time and prevent them from becoming fatigued and burnt out.

For more articles on quality of life and general well-being, please see the January 2010 SIRC Newsletter.

For more information about Dr. Duxbury’s study on work-life conflict please see:
Duxbury, L. and C. Higgins (2009), Key findings and Conclusions from the 2001 National Work-Life Conflict Study. Health Canada; Ottawa, Ontario.

Reference from the SIRC collection:

(2010). Email stress can wipe out benefit of holiday. Occupational Health, 62(9), 4.

Cropley, M., & Millward, L. (2009). How do individuals 'switch-off' from work during leisure? A qualitative description of the unwinding process in high and low ruminators. Leisure Studies, 28(3), 333-347.

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