From the CMO

How the CMO Can Help Manage Your Tech Culture

Technology is essential to getting work done. How can the CMO help set the tone for a healthy work/life balance?

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In today’s tech-connected world, we’re always on. Your smartphone and tablet are always by your side. Computers are often only a few steps away. TVs and other devices can be used for hopping on the Internet. As a result, it can feel like your employees are working harder than ever—and that’s especially true for marketing. There are social media accounts, advertising performance, and campaign analytics that can always be checked and monitored. As the CMO, here are some easy ways to set limits and help your team achieve better work/life balance.

Create an e-mail policy: France recently made headlines by implementing a requirement that firms with more than 50 employees create e-mail usage policies. Consider banning e-mails after a certain time at night (say 9 p.m.) and on the weekends. It may mean a cultural adjustment, but your team is likely to be grateful to have their leisure time back. If they’re thinking about work during off hours for a periodic work session, e-mail platforms have tools that allow you to schedule those e-mails to go out during business hours the next day.

Make vacations mandatory: Companies may have vacation policies, but departments can make them difficult to enforce. One organization required that a worker find “coverage” for his or her workload before booking vacations. They were already short staffed, and although the team wanted to help each other out, goodwill was stretched to the breaking point. Ensure you’re not creating this kind of dynamic. Have a clear plan in place for providing coverage when your team is out. Consider having your HR rep contact people halfway through the year to remind them about unused vacation time.

Focus during meetings: Another downside of being constantly connected are people using their smartphones and laptops during meetings. If everyone’s distracted, the outputs are lower quality and meetings take longer. Set the tone by putting down your devices and focusing on what’s in front of you. Go a step further, and ban devices or limit their usage as much as is practical during meetings or collaborations.

Technology helps us do more than ever before. Yet, as the leader of your team, it’s critical to set limits. Marketing teams are especially vulnerable to tech dependency due to the nature of their work. Model best practices and set policies with your team’s balance in mind.