I’ve been watching the TV series Mad Men lately and it’s gotten me thinking about how many of our work habits have changed over time. We laugh when we see the characters taking a drink in their office, or smoking a cigarette while working. These sorts of behaviors are just not acceptable in any way, anymore. Drinking alcohol at work would probably get you fired and smoking in the office is illegal!! But in that TV show, you might also see them taking a nap during the day on their beautiful office couch, or just sitting down on a comfortable chair beside their desk doing nothing. These behaviors would also probably be unacceptable in most work places today.
But why not? I know the majority of us probably don’t have a couch in our office, but what about just sitting down without looking at our computer for a few minutes…just relaxing and thinking? Do you agree with me that this would look bizarre? But why do we consider it a bad thing to stop working for a few minutes to reflect on some things we need to deal with?
Today, with our computers, our many email accounts, our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, etc. we are always always looking at our computer or working on something, and we never stop. It’s action after action after action. And to convince you of that, let’s do a test: take 5 minutes and go take a walk around the office and try to find someone not looking at a computer, talking with someone, or looking down at something they’re working on.
Do you ever see a colleagues at their desks, not looking at their computers or documents they’re working on, and just sitting to pause and think? Imagine what you’d think if you saw one of your colleagues looking at the wall and thinking for a few minutes.
Wow, that would be surprising!!
I find it so amazing how half a century goes by and brings so many changes in our working behaviors! And honestly, with all the amazing things technology brought to us, I think we’ve lost something really important…the act of doing nothing and taking the time to think. Taking a step back to reflect on what we did today and what we need to do in the future. Thinking more strategically, and having a better understanding of what is going on around us and what is the best way to go about a situation.
I think that we would live in a better world if we all took some time to step back and think more… and stop just reacting at all the emails and messages we are receiving on our computers and telephones.
We are now totally connected thanks to technology, but are we still connected with ourselves?
Photo credit iStockphoto
Sophie holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from HEC and specialized in HR. As an HR professional, Sophie has more than 15 years of experience working in the field of technology and places great importance in investing time in the advancement of her profession. She has been a member of the ORHRI (Quebec’s HR professional association) since 1996. You can connect with Sophie on Twitter as @HRSophie and on LinkedIn.