Snooze your job while you're on a holiday
You pulled out all the stops to get things done in your last week. And then you left everything behind and went on a holiday. Or... did you bring your laptop with you? And did you check for work updates on your smartphone while you were at the beach? It can be quite a challenge to keep a healthy work-life balance. To make this a bit easier for you, here at Plek we came up with the 'holiday snooze'.
“The temptation is hard to resist. That little red dot and that bleep have a magical effect on your brain. You've clicked it before you even realize it." Rishma Woortman, Customer Support Advisor at Plek, often has to suppress the urge to check her messages. Even when she's having a day off. And even when she's on a holiday.
Her explanation: "I just like knowing what's going on at the office". Rishma works 28 hours a week. "I don't want to miss everything that happens when I'm not there. I guess that's a good thing - Plek is a great company with a wonderful product that I'm super excited about. But in order to stay fresh, it's important to take a step back sometimes."
"Having a day off means more than physically not being at the office. It means you don't have to think about work all the time."
Rishma Woortman, Customer Support Advisor at Plek
Staring at your smartphone all the time
Keeping a healthy work-life balance can be hard. Several studies show that many Dutch people are having difficulties with it. The work pressure keeps rising and (young) employees are increasingly suffering from a burnout. Over 80% of Dutch people aged 18-38 say they spend too much time on their smartphones. A third of them attribute this to the existence of WhatsApp groups with colleagues or to receiving work email on their private phone outside working hours. Employers also suffer the consequences: eventually the 'always on' mentality leads to an increasing amount of employees having to take sick leave.
Emails, phone calls, messages - they all come in on your smartphone. Both colleagues and customers are always within reach. For some this is a blessing, for the others it's a curse. Since last year, French people have the right to switch off their smartphone outside working hours. The French government wanted to put an end to the 'always on' mentality.
Some companies take their own measures. Volkswagen made it impossible to send colleagues emails outside working hours. And a few years a go, consultancy firm &Samhoud introduced a bonus for employees who completely disable their business phone and email during their holidays: they receive 250 euros extra holiday allowance.
Well-deserved rest: holiday snooze
“At Plek we thought about ways to ensure that colleagues get their well-deserved rest", says Rishma. "We want them to fully recharge before they get back to work. That's why we developed the holiday snooze. This update is available for all our customers. Anyone who has a day off or goes on vacation can turn this snooze function on and off in their own settings on Plek.”
"By using Plek's holiday snooze, you won't receive any team updates or messages about targets you have or haven't reached while you're on the beach. Feels so good!"
Rishma Woortman, Customer Support Advisor at Plek
Rishma emphasized that Plek was developed for business communication." You have to be able to switch off your work. Going on a holiday is your opportunity to take a step back for a while. That's why it doesn't work to use WhatsApp for business communication. You'll want to stay in touch with family and friends while you're on a holiday, but if you also get work messages via WhatsApp, you're constantly reminded of work stuff."
Still, Rishma observed that 9 out of 10 potential customers use WhatsApp for work communication. "When I ask them how they feel about this, they often say: 'I'm in the WhatsApp group because it contains things I need to know for work. But it contains a lot of nonsense too. Unfortunately I can't leave the group because then I'll miss the important stuff too.'"
WhatsApp and GDPR don't go well together
There is an additional important argument against using WhatsApp for business communication. "According to the new European privacy law GDPR, business communications should not be carried out on WhatsApp because the security of personal data of employees and business relations cannot be guaranteed. For this reason, the German tire brand Continental decided to ban WhatsApp from work phones. In response to this ban, our CEO Rik Mulder wrote an article for Frankwatching with 5 tips to limit your employees' WhatsApp use."
Rishma has received positive reactions to the holiday snooze from various customers. "It offers them a way to stimulate employees to really relax on vacation, so that they can return to work well-rested. It's a good idea to remind employees to use the holiday snooze when they go on a holiday."
Rishma had a few days off last week. However she did open the Plek app while she was out of the office... but not for work! "Just out of curiosity. Because on our social intranet, we also share fun stuff. It's like the real world: colleagues like to discuss their weekends or holidays with each other. We also have a 'foodies' group on Plek. In it, we post recipes and pictures of food we cooked at home. It's inspiring. This way, using the Plek app on my day off can help me relax as well!"