While “digital nomad” culture has come to the forefront of today’s workforce, it’s downfall is its inevitable solitude. Many workers who use online means of communication can suffer from isolation, which can hurt both mental and physical health.
In a Harvard Business Review piece, U.S. surgeon general Vivek Murthy compared loneliness to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Austin Nicholas, CEO of Travel OUT There, expressed concern with this issue when realizing his son could only feel solace once in front of a screen. It led him to reflect on his own technology addiction and now ensures that his company’s culture focuses on getting out of the office and engaging with one another.
For example, Nicholas’ team has developed hardware and software called iSTAQ that hopes to “drive more open communication, more respect and more openness” by encouraging people to take a break from their devices.
Fortunately, the shift towards more open-plan offices and coworking spaces is fueling social interaction, and even friendships, between colleagues.