Shhh… It’s Quiet Hours

Ask any PR professional what the first thing they do in the morning is, and I’ll bet anything that 99% report they check their smart phones. Smart phones and PR pros seem to go hand in hand, no pun intended. They allow us to have news, emails, contacts, deadlines, and alerts all at the tips of our fingers. Though your job hours may be 9-5, smart phone alerts can often extend way past those hours.

While having the world at your beside is convenient  it can also be detrimental to your personal health. 67% professionals report feeling “phantom vibrations,” or thinking their phones are ringing and vibrating when they are actually silent. Other professionals say they have woken out of their sleep in the middle of the night to return or send an email from their smart phone. 44% of professionals sleep with their smart phones.

With the new year in full swing, many companies have made it their personal resolution to create less smart phone dependent employees. It’s great that you can get a client’s story placement in a major publication by 8am, but not so great that you pass out from exhaustion in your cubicle later. That being said, many companies are taking the following steps to insure happy, healthy, smart phone free employees:

  • “Blackout policies” that include turning off all work related devices from 6pm-6am, and keeping it off on the weekends.
  • Auto deleting emails during vacation times so that employees don’t return to a flooded inbox.
  • Limiting the use of smart phones during business trips.
  • Providing employees with phones just for work so that they can leave them in the office at the end of the day.
While these initiatives are a great way to make happier and healthier employees, I wonder if it is even feasible in the PR world. Public Relations often requires going beyond office hours to get the job done. A PR pro returning from vacation with a wiped out inbox may actually do more harm than good.
What do you think? Will the smart phone and PR pro relationship ever become more laid back? Let us know!
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