Work Smarter by Spending Less Time in the Office
The American workforce is notorious for having a poor work-life balance. In 2015, the average American worker spent 8.7 hours a day in the office and worked an average of 1,790 hours a year. This was significantly above the OECD average. Our French counterparts worked only 1,473 hours a year.
These long work hours are beginning to influence the mental health of US workers. In 2014, 1 in 4 Americans were affected by mental illness and 42% of Americans said their employer did not have a support structure for dealing with mental health issues. Mental illness is the leading cause of absenteeism and reduced productivity in America.
This is resulting in American workers becoming more and more unproductive. A survey conducted by Harris Poll found that American employees only spend 45 percent of their time on primary job duties. That means more than half of their time is spent on other things such as administrative tasks, interruptions, or private tasks.
But what can American workers do? They do not want to harm their mental well-being, but also do not want to seem lazy at work (at the end of the day they need to get paid). There is an easy solution to this dilemma, however — learn to stay connected to work so that you can work from home or on the go. It gets you out of the office, but still allows you to be productive.
With the development of mobile technology, like laptops, hotspots, cell phones, and portable batteries, it is easier than ever to get out of the office while staying connected. In fact, there are now countless start-ups dedicated to ensuring you can mentally recharge outside the office, while still being able to get work done if necessary.
One such start-up is Park N’ Plug, a California based start-up that is teaming up with restaurants to ensure diners do not run out of phone battery while relaxing over a long lunch or dinner. Park N’ Plug provides restaurants free portable phone chargers, and these chargers can be brought to a diner’s tables upon request. This service is completely free for both the restaurants and the diners, and helps people stay connected while still enjoying real human connections shared over a meal.
With rising rates of mental illness among American workers, it is important now more than ever to work smarter. Working smarter does not mean working more hours in theoffice or learning to sleep fewer hours a day, but instead it means learning to get work done while still enjoying what life has to offer. American workers need to learn to do this by staying connected to work but working from home or on the go. Start-ups like Park N’ Plug have realized this need and are working to make it easier for you to work smarter.
Originally posted on Medium.