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Corporate Digital Responsibility – the new trend in future-ready businesses

12th June, 2018

Laura Willis, Founder, Shine Offline



There’s something in the air, a new technological change afoot that’s going to fundamentally alter our lives and the way we work, more than anything that has come before. It’s been building for the past few years as coverage continues to grow of the negative aspects our 24/7 connected culture is having on people. It’s not a new technological system or application, but quite the opposite. It’s a reaction to how many of us feel as a result of the way we are choosing to spend our time at work and at home.

The tech sector starts to take responsibility

When Google and Apple made their announcements in the last few weeks about the new digital wellbeing features on their devices, which have been introduced to help people control the addictive aspects of their connectivity, we at Shine Offline were not only thrilled but also not surprised. We have spent the past 2 years workshopping people’s relationships with their digital devices, creating a space for them to really question how they use their digital technology and the negative impact it could be having on their lives.

Digital imbalance – a common problem

What we find, time and time again, regardless of sector, seniority or job role, is that people are struggling. There is a strong sense that they need their digital devices in order to do their jobs and manage their personal lives, but the joy and benefit of their smartphones is being overridden by the overwhelm, distraction, disconnection and exhaustion that they feel as a result of the 24/7 world we live in.

The benefits and features that Google and Apple have introduced recently aren’t new. There are umpteen apps out there that you can download onto your phone. We have been recommending these to workshop participants since we launched, alongside a variety of other simple tools and tips to help them break the addictive aspects and pull that they feel.

We find that when people are given the space to stop and think about where they are choosing to place their attention and are informed about the negative impacts constant connectivity can have on mental health, relationships, focus and sleep, they feel empowered to make some changes to the role their devices play.

The business world’s duty of care – Corporate Digital Responsibility

And as the tech sector starts to speak up about their responsibility to help people get that sense of balance and control back, businesses are recognising their need for Corporate Digital Responsibility – a new turn of phrase but one that we know is going to become mainstream before too long.

Businesses have a duty to look after their people if they are struggling to get a healthy handle on their technology usage. But also, unhappy people result in an unhappy workplace, which in turn is bad for business. So truly innovative businesses getting future-ready are starting to develop their own rules and guidelines around how their people can use this technology in their lives.

And at Shine Offline we know the future is bright as the wave of businesses taking this issue seriously continues to build and people feel truly supported by their employers to improve how they use their digital technology to be their best selves at work and at home.

Laura Willis, Founder, Shine Offline

Laura Willis is the Founder of Shine Offline, a consultancy and training organisation that empowers people and businesses with the insight and skills to improve their relationships with the digital technology in their lives and in turn their wellbeing, work life balance, productivity, creativity and relationships. Clients to date include Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Schroders, Three Mobile, Barclays, The Crown Estate, National Grid and 3M.

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