Frank have launched an innovative new way to help employees switch off from the constant pressures of being ‘always on’ and help them achieve a better work/life balance by deterring them from looking at their mobile phones.
Frank have partnered with technology provider, Hold, to enable employees to switch off from work by putting their phone on hold, and will offer them rewards for doing so. The Frank on Hold app will detect when an employee has used their smartphone and will reward them with points dependent on how long they avoid the temptation of opening Twitter or sending a WhatsApp message, for example. Upon downloading it, employees simply need to leave their phone untouched for as long as possible. It then awards the users points for showing restraint. The app can detect any interaction with their phone, so once they’ve pressed a button to look at the time or glance at an email, they’ll stop accumulating points – until they don’t look at it for another 20 minutes. The longer they hold off checking their device, the more points they will get. Those points can then be exchanged for rewards and discounts including coffee, snacks, cinema tickets, Frank workplace perks or donations to charity within the app’s Frank marketplace. There is an element of competition to this too with employees able to compete with their colleagues for who has the most points on the Frank leader board within the app.
In addition to enabling employees to switch off from work when at home, the app will also allow employees to concentrate better whilst at work, by removing the constant distraction of mobile phone notifications and the temptation to Snap, tweet and check WhatsApp messages. The near-constant dopamine hit of hundreds of notifications can seriously get in the way of working. The app will still allow employees to receive phone calls and notification alerts, however, will encourage them not to constantly check their phone by rewarding them for keeping their phone on hold. Frank have also put in place a series of guidelines and tips to deter employees from constantly checking their phones. For example, employees are encouraged to put their phones on hold when they get home, and instead just log in via their laptops if they want to, in order to check for incoming emails.
Matt Jordan, Head of People, Talent and Culture at Frank said: “The idea isn’t to stop people using their phones. Instead, it’s to ensure that the decision to use them is a conscious one. Working in a demanding industry like PR where you are expected to be always on, we realise how hard it is for people to switch off out of working hours. We wanted to find a solution to encourage people to maintain a better work/life balance and improve their mental wellbeing . We also realised how easy it was to lose focus at work in a flood of incoming messages, social media alerts and the like. We want to limit these distractions and give employees an incentive to concentrate. The Frank on Hold app allows them to avoid their phones and balance their use of technology whilst earning rewards in the process. We believe that for employees to be at their most effective it is essential for them to be able to cope with the constant demands of an always on world. Encouraging them not to be constantly distracted by their mobiles is a step towards achieving this”