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IMPACT OF DIGITAL DETOX ON INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE OF THE EMPLOYEES

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© 2019 IJRAR May 2019, Volume 6, Issue 2 www.ijrar.org (E-ISSN 2348-1269, P- ISSN 2349-5138)
IJRAR19K1767
International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews (IJRAR)www.ijrar.org
378
IMPACT OF DIGITAL DETOX ON INDIVIDUAL
PERFORMANCE OF THE EMPLOYEES
DR RANITA BASU
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
GLOBSYN BUSINESS SCHOOL
ABSTRACT:
The present investigation was assessed to find out the impact of digital detox on individual performance of the
employees working in various organizations. Post digital detox test and individual performance test were applied
on them. Total 70 data were collected from those employees who have undergone a digital detox at their
workplace. In both the scales high scores reveal high level of performance and highly benefited from the detox.
One hypothesis was formulated for this investigation. To find out the impact product moment correlation was
computed. From the statistical analysis it was found that there is a significant relation among the variables and
both are positively related to each other. However, in this era of digitalization, detoxing is equally an important
phenomenon, which was reflected in this study.
KEY WORDS: Digital detox, Individual performance.
In recent era the concept digital detox or tech-detox has emerged remarkably in the field of behavioral science
and more specifically in the work field. Detox generally signifies a process in which one abstains from unhealthy
objects. Here digital detox is widely known as period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic
connecting devices such as smart phones and computers. Now it has become so important that it is listed in the
dictionary too (dictionary.com). Undergoing a digital detox is the act of refraining from using digital or electronic
devices for a certain period of time, with the intention of avoiding the distractions that come from always being
connected. Some examples include: A set time every day where all devices are switched off, Not engaging in any
work-related communications, such as email, outside of working hours, Actively engaging more in conversations
and interactions in the “physical” world and less in the “digital” world and most importantly to spend some quality
time with the person himself so that he can rejoice again.
Now a day the connection with the digital world has become so enormous that a child also knows how to play
YouTube or other gaming app or how to access the stored data in their parents’ mobile phones. They are so much
savvy about the use of the smart phones or even other gadgets. Various studies show that this is not only harmful
for the kids but has a detrimental effect on this Gen Z. However, in this issue the employees are also the front
liners who are getting badly affected by the digitalization, someway or other. In 2012, in the doctoral thesis,
Thomée, Sara, The University of Gothenburg did an extensive study on the effects of computer and Smartphone
usage and found that excessive use can be linked to stress, sleep disorders and depressive symptoms. For those
who used both computers and mobile phones combined, the risk was amplified.
As per Travis May, CEO, Tollfreeforwarding.com, “the real-world evidence is already out there too. Business
owners who have adopted a Digital Detox policy are seeing the benefits, with one organization reducing the stress
levels of their workforce by 47%simply by removing emails and instant messaging apps as methods of team-
communication. Employees are obviously free to act in whatever way they choose when they are at home. But
businesses can limit the amount of out of office distractions they place on employees, which in turn can help them
to gain better rest and recuperation to achieve greater productivity when in the office.
In a Maverick report 2016, DD Mishra, research director at Gartner, writes that “the proliferation of digital
technology and smart machines in our daily personal and professional lives also has a significant negative impact,
as it disrupts human processes.”He added “We are seeing a sharp rise in digital disorder as individuals become
increasingly obsessed with the virtual world, most often experienced through the Internet, social media, e-
commerce, smartphones and other digital technology.”
© 2019 IJRAR May 2019, Volume 6, Issue 2 www.ijrar.org (E-ISSN 2348-1269, P- ISSN 2349-5138)
IJRAR19K1767
International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews (IJRAR)www.ijrar.org
379
Widespread impact on the rise: Victims of this disorder may display abnormal psychological and behavioral
symptoms that severely impact their daily lives, such as obsessive compulsive behavior, dysfunctional social
relationships, anxiety, anger, frustration, insomnia, depression and social isolation. These symptoms can lead to
more serious issues when they drive behavioral changes. “This is not a new phenomenon, with Internet addiction
disorder identified in 1995,” said Mr. Mishra. “What is new is the widespread impact of digital disorder as more
and more people have access to the devices and software that connect them to the virtual world. When these
changes lead to anti-social activities, there will also be social issues.”
Addressing digital disorder in the workplace he further added
In the workplace, digital disorder can reduce productivity and affect interpersonal relationships; however,
corporate acknowledgment of this issue is just beginning. HR leaders need to collaborate with business leaders
to implement policy changes and take preventative action to minimize the impact on employee health. There are
a number of ways to do this, such as encouraging face-to-face communication; driving engagement and
collaboration through face-to-face meetings, role-playing sessions and fun activities to deal with the side effects
of digital-only communication patterns. Companies can offer digital detox packages as a type of remuneration to
motivate employees and help them overcome the side effects of constant digital interaction. While we will
continue to benefit from digital technology, we should also address the side effects to ensure that our digital
journey is smoother.”
Ellen Wermter of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine notes how waves of blue lights, prominent in
mobile devices, are disrupting our sleep patterns: “There is one biological phenomenon that will improve
communication, creativity, productivity, endurance, reaction time, concentration, memory, mood, and more
and that is proper sleep. One of the main influences of our sleep patterns is light, particularly that which we get
through our phones, tablets and laptops, which are often close to our face and that many of us use late into the
evening and even take into our bedrooms.”
In an article by Tollfreeforwarding, in 2018, it was published that, “It’s not only individual businesses who are
getting involved with digital detox initiatives. In France, the government intervened in 2016 by implementing the
“right to disconnect” policy. The measure was intended to tackle the “always-on” work culture. Companies with
more than 50 workers were required to draw up guidelines around the use of email and work-related smartphone
use outside of office hours. Employees could negotiate a total ban on sending emails outside of office hours.
Detoxing while at work: In addition to a home-based digital detox, an alternative is to offer a break from tech
during work hours. Consider implementing some of the following work policies to further enhance productivity:
Encourage regular breaks away from the computer screen
Organize well-being or recreational classes (such as yoga) at lunch, helping employees to get away from
their desks
Have tech-free meetings, allowing staff to rely only on their interpersonal skills to communicate ideas
We spoke to businesses who have adopted workplace digital detox policies. One extreme example comes from
Mexico-based travel comparison site El Mejor Trato, who has completely eliminated email from their
workplace.”
The job related activities expected of a worker and how well those activities were executed is known as employee
performance. It comes from the understanding of job role, performing those and measure whether it was up to
the expectations or not.
This present study aims to find out the impact on digital detox on individual performance.
Hypothesis
One hypothesis was formulated sating- There is an impact of digital detox on performance.
© 2019 IJRAR May 2019, Volume 6, Issue 2 www.ijrar.org (E-ISSN 2348-1269, P- ISSN 2349-5138)
IJRAR19K1767
International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews (IJRAR)www.ijrar.org
380
2. METHODS
2.1 Sample
The sample comprised of 70 employees from various working sectors who have compulsorily undergone a detox
in their work field. The sample included both male and female employees.
2.2 Tools
A general information schedule was created to maintain the database of the employee’s age, experience etc.
A post digital detox questionnaire was used to find out the opinion of the employees who have already
experienced detox. This 5 point rating scale was developed by the researcher herself, where 1 stands for extreme
unfavorable preference and 5 stands for extreme favorable preference. The reliability coefficient was found to be
.81.
An individual performance scale was used to measure and evaluate the respondents’ answers in their performance.
This Likert scale is a rating scale, which measures the strength of agreement with a statement (John Arul Phillips,
2010). This scale consists of 40 questions related to;- i. Level of work stress (10questions ) ii. Employee’s
perception on the work load (10 questions) iii. Salary (10questions) iv. Work environment (10 questions). The
type of rating scale used is ‘Agreement’ and the ratings scales are as follow: 1= Strongly Disagree 2=Disagree
3= Not Sure 4=Agree 5= Strongly Agree. The reliability coefficient was found to be .85.
2.3 Procedure
Participants in the present study were approached individually and asked to share their opinion on the above
mentioned questionnaires. It took 10-15 mnts to complete, though there was no time limit. Data was collected
through softcopies distributed to the employees who have experienced this digital detox in their workplace.
Purposive sampling and snowball sampling method was followed in this study. Participants were encouraged to
ask about the doubts and requested to keep the data confidential.
3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
The mean and SD values were computed for both the variables. Then the product moment correlation was done
to find out whether digital detox has any impact on performance or not. The table below shows the relation
between the variables:
Table shows the mean, SD and r value and the impact of digital detox on individual performance
Variables
mean
SD
r
Digital Detox
39.7
3.24
.308*
Individual
performance
166.6
12.9
*p<0.01
© 2019 IJRAR May 2019, Volume 6, Issue 2 www.ijrar.org (E-ISSN 2348-1269, P- ISSN 2349-5138)
IJRAR19K1767
International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews (IJRAR)www.ijrar.org
381
The mean values were 39.7 and 166.6 for digital detox and individual performance respectively. The SD values
were 3.24 and 12.9 for the two variables. The correlation value was found to be .308, which is significant at 0.01
level. Thus the hypothesis stating that There is an impact of digital detox on performance’ is accepted. On the
other hand the result shows a positive relation between the variables which means, both are directly proportionate
to each other.
It can be considered from the present study that digital detox has helped the employees to perform in a better way
than their previous state. The statements like ‘how much it has helped you to be more attached with your job?’ or ‘did
it increase your motivation towards your work?’ have got highly preferred by the employees undergone this detox. Further
it reveals that digital detox plays an important role in shaping employee performance.
This study is one of the contemporary studies in nature, thus the numbers of studies are just a handful. Though it has
become very evident in USA, Canada, Australia and Europe, but just kick started in India. Fewest numbers of blogs, articles
and other write ups say occasional detoxing can help in recovering from tech addiction and overuse.
REFERENCES:
1. Thomée, Sara; ICT use and mental health in young adults. Effects of computer and mobile phone use on
stress, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression, 1-Mar-2012, University of Gothenburg.
Sahlgrenska Academy. Retrieved from https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/28245
2. Retrieved from https://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/2018/07/24/6-ways-introduce-digital-detox-employees-
boost-productivity/
3. Retrieved from https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/is-it-time-for-a-digital-detox/
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