Book review: Sleeping With Your Smartphone

Emma De Vita reviews the new book by Professor Leslie Perlow

Sleeping With Your Smartphone, by Professor Leslie Perlow
Sleeping With Your Smartphone, by Professor Leslie Perlow

Do you treat your iPhone or BlackBerry better than you do your spouse? Do you talk to it as soon as you get up and last thing before you go to sleep? If so, you might have a problem. In fact, we might all have trouble with a connected world of work where we need to be constantly plugged in so we can keep on top of things. Who hasn't checked their emails at the weekend, for example?

Professor Leslie Perlow argues that this 24/7 mentality can be counterproductive. Based on her own research, she recommends that we take "disconnected" time off. It's a simple enough idea, but try putting it into practice - it's harder than you might think.

In essence, it's about escaping the constant pressure to be on duty, and dispelling the guilt many people feel if they refuse to take phone calls and check emails on days off.

A great way to make this happen is to view it as a team effort. If you're the manager of people who consistently work beyond their hours, then schedule regular nights off for them. Say they are never allowed to be contacted after work hours on Tuesdays to Thursdays or are never to be contacted at the weekend.

Once the rules are in place, happiness will prevail.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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