How many times a day do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through your smartphone while doing something else – maybe talking to a friend, watching TV, or waiting in line at the grocery store? It’s an interesting conundrum that the more technology we have at our fingertips meant to connect us, the more distracted and disconnected we can be. Obviously, no one should text (or Snapchat) and drive – the risks of that kind of multitasking are unrefuted.
But what about other kinds of multitasking? What about talking on the phone while browsing the internet. Or casually glancing at your phone as it sits on the dinner table? Or trying to have a business discussion while intermittently staring at your computer? Can you truly video-conference with someone when you see them looking at their phone instead of back at you?
One way I’ve started to change the game is by creating the vision behind the Pledge of Presence. This is an initiative that we’re piloting at BroadSoft with our team members and have been rolling out across our locations. The Pledge of Presence is a promise to yourself to be more mindful of choosing how present you are in what you do and how you interact with family, colleagues and peers. We wanted to see what would happen if we challenged our employees to be more aware, more tuned-in to how, when, and where they use technology.
Then we took that idea a step further. My vision was to enable our employees to share the gift of being present with young people in schools around our 26 different offices throughout the world. Through their stewardship, our team would become further empowered to bring these changes to their own lives at home and at work.
What’s exciting is the response that we are getting to the Pledge of Presence, both inside and outside of BroadSoft. For example, so far, 91% of high school students recently surveyed said they would take the Pledge, and 85% of middle schoolers said they would.
My hope is that someday, our BroadSoft team, which is helping to lead the unified communications and collaboration market, will also lead our service provider partners to participate in the Pledge of Presence…and even make it available to their customers globally.
How about you? Do you find yourself multitasking more often than not? Are you letting your level of presence during important moments in your life be dictated by incoming messages? Or going through parts of your life on “auto-pilot?” Try taking the Pledge of Presence – with colleagues at work or with your family at home. And see how a commitment to yourself to be more focused and present can change your game.