DIGITAL TOOLS ARE UNLIKE ANY TOOL WE HAVE USED BEFORE: THEY ARE INTERACTIVE. THEY ARE DESIGNED TO CAPTURE AND MANIPULATE OUR ATTENTION. WHEN NOT MANAGED PROPERLY, THEY ARE DISTRACTION DEVICES.
How employees use their desk top and mobile devices has long been a concern of business managers. Efficiency has been the dominate interest. CHIU’s workplace interventions are targeted at improving efficiency through minimizing distractions, time management and the cognitive and psychological health of the workplace environment.
We uniquely offer solutions that create an environment and digital culture that improves employee cognitive performance and addresses internet and device dependencies.
It is likely that employees at all levels of your organization have digital dependencies. Dependencies are the source of distractions and a factor in inefficiency. Workplace protocols designed to manage internet use will be more effective if the addictive capacity of digital technology is addressed. Problematic Interactive Media Use (PIMU) is a recognized mental and physical health issue and so employee health and its impact on lost time and productivity are management and ethical concerns.
Workplace productivity is affected by how alert and able to focus are employees. Thirty years of research has shown that the use of screens tires the executive functions of the brain: attention, concentration, problem solving, impulse control. Fatigue increases with the number of distractions on the medium and frequency of task interruptions (so-called multi-tasking).
We offer a 5-pronged workplace therapy.
Many firms have created guidelines and management systems for employee use of the internet and devices. We assist firms to reduce on-screen distractions and coach employees in efficient task management in conjunction with Time When Management. We make it easier for employees to manage tasks by alerting them to their dependency triggers.
Time When Management
Research shows there is a typical daily cognitive acuity cycle. Most of us are best able to focus, think critically, read with retention and solve problems from shortly after we rise until late morning or early afternoon. We enter a cognitive trough that lasts into late afternoon during which our executive functions are weakest. In late afternoon or early evening, we have a cognitive resurgence during which executive function partially restores and our intuitive and creative abilities are most active. About 20% of the population does not follow this cycle.
Honouring one’s natural rhythm by doing the “right things at the right time” during the day is one of the very biggest effectors of effectiveness and productivity and on one’s life in general, including one’s happiness. Keith Garrick, Life Management Alliance
We assist employees to organize their digital workload around their
daily cognitive cycle. We advise on the daily time when for meetings,
presentations, brain-storming and HR functions.
Employers should understand that many digital technologies and apps are addictive in nature, some by design. CHIU offers workshops where employees complete a test of internet addiction, learn to recognize addictive behaviour and what triggers their impulses, and how to reduce problematic dependency.
Restoration therapy is the most successful treatment for brains that are fatigued by incessant, prolonged interactive digital media use. Fatigue is greatest when stimuli, distractions and skimming/surfing are greatest. We bring the science of restoration therapy to the workplace. It turns out that being in nature is the quickest way to restore a tired cerebral cortex. However, it is not necessary to plunge into the woods. Office design, creating a restoration space and teaching employees how to use it, will enable cognitive restoration. We also offer individual and group attention restoration exercises and suggestions for how some meeting and workshop tasks can be modified to promote cognitive renewal.
Putting It Together
Our goal is to assist the following changes to your work environment.
Employees have a disciplined, low-distraction interface with digital technology tools.
As far as possible, they schedule tasks to coincide with their daily cognitive cycle: thinking work in the morning, communications and a restoration break in the early afternoon, brainstorming and creative in the late afternoon.
Employees have improved control of impulses and stay on task. They are aware of their impulse triggers.
They use the restoration space and attention renewal exercises to refresh their critical thinking and creative talent.
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