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Ashlee Kittel

Do I Have to Unplug to Find Balance?

In years past, unplugging was a simple, easy to perform action -- grab a cord and yank! We unplugged appliances while on vacation, we unplugged video game systems to troubleshoot and we unplugged curling irons to avoid fire hazards. These days the unplugging ‘movement’ isn’t quite as literal and the ‘cords’ associated with the action are attached to our psyches. Unplugging now refers to a conscious detachment from technology, often through digital detoxes or weekend-long power downs. Couples are unplugging weddings to avoid mass distribution of private moments, parents are unplugging their children in an attempt to regain eye contact around the kitchen table and employees are unplugging for the weekend to maintain a sense of work-life balance. There’s even a National Unplugging Day which rolls around each year in early March, ironically just months after the holiday surge of new technology makes its way into our palms and onto our bedside tables. Unplugging has grown to become the antidote for hyper connectivity, unhealthy dependencies on technology and an obsession with checking work emails-- a way to escape the digital and enter back into reality. But what if you could strike a connectivity balance that didn’t leave you feeling like you need to get away?

Is unplugging the answer?
Unplugging is not a cure-all for your attention deficits and dependencies. It alone won’t help you manage anxieties and the results of a digital detox probably won’t show up during your next physical. There is little evidence that frequent technology use is bad for your health outside of the common physical symptoms of being an avid technophile; eye strain from reading small screens, poor sleep quality caused by blue light before bed and ‘text neck.’ So the news is positive. Spending hours staring at your device isn’t going to put you in the hospital, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t optimize your usage if you feel like you need to take a break. We’re happy to tell you that unplugging isn’t the only way to recalibrate your digital lifestyle-- collaboration tools like the Cisco Spark app help individuals and teams work the way that they want, when it’s convenient for them.

Tools that work for you.
Imagine your ideal work environment. Where are you located? How are you interacting with your colleagues? Is your workday structured or do you have flexibility to do things at your own pace? Each of you reading this will provide a different combination of answers, proving how illusive and individualistic the concept of work life balance is. Different people excel in different environments, so regaining balance should look different for everyone. Collaborative technologies like Cisco Spark and WebEx create the ability to participate on-demand, work at your own pace, and stay connected to your teams and your projects.

Don’t want to stay “connected”? Keep up. One thing we can all agree on? Streamlining processes and having everything in one place makes life easier for all. The Cisco Spark app does just that. It rolls your meetings and calls, messaging, files and more into one app that you can access (or silence!) whenever and wherever you’d like. No more searching for files, tracking down emails or missing meeting takeaways, all are stored in one place to keep everyone on the same page. Organizations who invest in collaborative tools that create the ability to work at your own pace all while staying connected are finding success. Help your customers get more done from anywhere with Cisco Spark.

Ready to help drive balanced solutions to your customers? Here’s where to start:

1.  Ask them to take a step back and reflect. Take the time to better understand the way they work and the challenges that slow their workforce down. Find out what’s important to them and their team. The end goals and desires may be different, but it’s likely that a platform like Cisco Spark can meet everyone’s needs.

2.   Engage. Collaborative tools only work if people use them. Help your customers identify which features matter the most and which help them work where, when and how they want with their teams. Cisco Spark is not only flexible in interoperability and access from mobile app, desktop app or website – but also in the solutions you can implement-- whether it be a Message, Call or Meetings platform.

3.  Embrace the transformation! Helping customers create their own optimized work environment and find a new pace of productivity will strengthen your partnership!

“We need to stop letting the concept of a ‘meeting’ determine how we connect and when. Collaboration happens on a continuum, not in discrete chunks dictated by someone reserving a room or writing an agenda. Meeting is part of an organic, ongoing connection between people. The best meetings never end.”
- Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager, IoT and applications, Cisco

Have a question about creating a workspace transformation strategy that works for your sales teams? Our BDMs can help develop your FASTPATH strategy – we’ll get you connected. Share comments about your journey to find balance, experience with Cisco Spark and more in the comments section below or strike up a conversation with us on social media!