We are more connected now than we've ever been before. On the one hand, this is a great thing. It makes it easier for people to collaborate with one another, work on their own time, and stay informed about the world. Unfortunately, this constant connectivity can at times be detrimental. Just because we have the capability to always be plugged in and working, doesn't mean it's a good idea.
As a boss especially, there's a strong temptation to try to be engaged with your work 24/7. You feel as if you owe it to your company, your employees, and yourself to give 100 percent effort all day, everyday. This is a positive impulse, but it has the effect of making you a less effective manager. It's actually become a kind of sickness for many workers worldwide. Here are a few reasons why being a 24/7 boss is detrimental to yourself and your employees.
It Discourages Independence
Everyone knows the dangers of micromanagement. Employees who aren't given space to solve problems and develop processes in their own ways learn not to come up with creative ideas or think critically on their own. A 24/7 boss is much more likely to spend time tracking his or her employees' every move, creating an environment that produces stress and discourages creativity.
Obviously, every boss needs to be engaged with employees and keep their finger on the pulse of the office. However, you also should have trained your team to be able to function effectively on their own from time to time without the need for constant management.
It Decreases Productivity
Human beings need breaks in order to thrive. If you a drive a car for too long without changing its oil, it begins to run poorly and break down. If you try to work for too long without taking a break to briefly change your mindset, your own productivity will decline. The exact number of hours is a subject of debate, but studies have shown that, at a certain point, working more hours per week actually decreases the amount of work that gets done.
As you get tired and stressed out from working too much, you begin to work more slowly, make mistakes, and exercise poor judgment and decision-making. This all causes more problems than it solves. It also makes you like your work less and less. A good boss has to understand the need to take time to recharge so employees can come back and do the best job they can.
It Creates Stress
The truth is that 24/7 bosses contribute to a stressful workplace, both for themselves and their employees. A boss that tries to be on all the time without taking a break will stress him or herself out, and inevitably end up taking that stress out on employees. Having a hovering boss constantly looking over their every move will only serve to compound the existing stress of employees.
Stress in the workplace can have numerous negative effects for morale and productivity. Employees that feel stressed out are more likely to lose focus, less likely to be communicative, and might even quit more frequently than employees who are more comfortable.
It Reduces Your Own Creativity
Taking breaks from work don't just make you more productive, they also make you more creative. Constantly working on a problem every hour of every day can be a good way to get nowhere fast. If you don't step back and allow your brain to disengage from your work from time to time, you'll end up just bashing your head against a wall.
Sometimes, the best ideas can come from thinking about totally unrelated topics. Einstein developed many of the basic ideas of relativity while working at the Swiss patent office. While other physicists were working in academia, Einstein's experience analyzing new inventions led him down a different path of inspiration that revolutionized our understanding of space and time. Stepping back in the same way can help you become a more effective boss.