Why it’s important to find the balance between face-to-face contact and digital time
With social networks, Skype, company blogs and email at our fingertips, it's easier than ever to run a business from remote places in today's digital age.
The internet has revolutionised how we communicate and changed forever the way we do business. All it takes is a few clicks of the mouse and you can engage with audiences all across the world.
However, every advancement in technology has both its advantages and its disadvantages.
While the world wide web has undoubtedly made many lives easier, it is also worth remembering that face-to-face time is still important – especially when it comes to running a business.
Flicking emails back and forth all day can be time consuming and confusing, whereas a simple matter could be solved in a matter of minutes with a meeting.
And although sites such as Facebook and Twitter claim to be 'social', chatting with a colleague over the internet all day may not be as beneficial as popping out for a cup of coffee.
A recent study by the Australian Institute found that for some people, using social media can be a lonely experience.
The report Loneliness in Australia 2001-2009 examined patterns of solitude and feelings of isolation, as well as the effect social networks have on a person's esteem and community life.
Lead author and director of the institute David Baker explained that although it is great that so many companies and governmental departments are starting to engage their own social media strategy, it is important that this does not replace face-to-face communication.
"We have already seen the Department of Human Services, which oversees access to social, health and other government payments, enthusiastically embrace social media by creating a digital media section," Mr Baker said today (June 29).
"While it is certainly a positive step that the government is moving with the time, it does need to recognise that online social connection may in fact mask real social disconnection."
Perhaps this research serves as good reminder to book in that face-to-face meeting with your colleagues, or to stay away from social media for a day and opt for using the phone instead.
Posted by Jess O'Connor