Spending hours looking at screens each day can take its toll on the health of your staff, but they can reduce their screen time and still be productive
Physical strain to your eyes and body, sleep deprivation, increased risk of obesity, susceptibility to chronic health conditions, loss of cognitive ability, impaired socialising skills, weakened emotional judgment and lower self-esteem are just some of the potential consequences of too much screen time.
Therefore, it is important to take breaks away from screens in order to make sure that your mental and physical wellbeing are not being compromised. Creating boundaries around our device use can help prevent long-term damage.
Though this can feel difficult if you’re obliged to sit at a computer for work, there are ways you can cut screen time while still remaining productive.
Limit the time spent checking emails and social media
With the world at our fingertips thanks to smartphones, it’s easy to keep checking your emails long after work is over, or on your breaks. Equally, it’s easy to swap one screen for another, and check social media when you’re taking a break from looking at your laptop, or waiting for something to load.
However, the result is that you’re spending a lot more time looking at a screen than you think. The minutes will soon clock up, and as well as eye fatigue, you’ll start to suffer from poor posture from looking down at your devices.
Create boundaries with workplace communications, consider if you really need your work emails on your phone, and try picking up a book or doing some quick exercises instead of checking socials. After a while, you’ll drop the screen habit.
Schedule regular breaks
It can be easy to lose track of time when you’re looking at a screen, especially if you’re on a deadline or are focused on a specific task. If that sounds familiar, you may benefit from setting a timer to encourage you to take regular breaks.
Whilst everyone will have individual preferences, as well as break times at work, some people find that blocking their days into focus chunks or using the Pomodoro method can help them stay productive and remember to look away from their screens once in a while.
Use apps that track and limit daily screen time usage
Whilst it may seem counterintuitive to use technology to limit screen time, there are some great apps out there that can help you understand just how much time you’re spending on your devices. Sometimes, seeing the numbers written down can help drive it home just how much of your day you’re spending looking at screens.
You can also use apps to help you focus – from ones that grow a tree for every 25 minutes you don’t pick up your phone, to ones that actually lock your non-work apps for a set time period, technology doesn’t have to be all bad.
For more guidance on responsible screen time: Encouraging Responsible Screen Time & Communications – JAM