Can you imagine being happier when cut off from your online oxygen? At Roadmap, we can. Even more so, we lead the way to digital detoxing.
During my MBA I was inspired by a guy that was writing his thesis on ‘internet and happiness.’ This was back in 2008. Web-related emotional failure had not yet been diagnosed. But Jim was ahead of his time. He knew something was wrong. He made himself the subject of the thesis and went offline for three months. He used paper maps in the car, sent letters with actual stamps, and dusted off his landline.
This primarily caused inconvenience. He was deprived of the bright benefits of that time. The ones that supposedly made us happier. We all loved how technology was simplifying our lives, and falling back on ancient methods was a major setback.
But something else happened. Jim gained more time to think, more time to enjoy the great architecture of Amsterdam, and more time to look at as well as talk to people. He started to learn with and lean on his eyes and ears again. Moreover, he got closer to his family. Radically offline, his relationship with his wife blossomed. In his book ‘Does the internet make us happy?’ Jim describes how he got up in the morning and had breakfast with his children, undistracted. He actually enjoyed it and embraced the everyday hectic of getting dressed and fed for work and school.
I have never forgotten about Jim’s experiment. When I kicked off a company that creates mobile traveler apps, I decided it was my responsibility to look after my colleagues when they are working and when they are not working. For starters, we do not send work related emails or app messages after working hours. Find that shocking already? Then please stop reading here…
Below is a list of the ways in which Roadmap tries to improve people’s happiness in an inevitably online society.
We give you control over your own free time. At Roadmap you decide when and how long you take time off(line). Just consult with your teammates and get the hell out of here. Very nice in case of hangovers… I assure you.
We look at your output, not your office hours. Elon Musk shouts at his people that the world can’t be changed between 9 and 5. As a result you will find 300 Tesla’s parked at the headquarters on a Saturday. What he actually meant was that you should bring in what you find outside the office. Personally, I’ve never come up with a brilliant idea in the office. The few times I got somewhat close to outstanding thoughts, I was running, sleeping, or waiting at airports. I love airports. They make me happy. We encourage you to find out what works for you. If we can help you connect this to the company – bingo. More work gets done, there’s a better work/life balance, and there’s more creativity.
If a personal event takes place, please take some time off. Move houses, get married (again), and have babies – please. Do it and take some time off. Men and women are treated equally at Roadmap, so you get 26 days of paid parental leave.
This is even more true for unhappy events. Take some time off and concentrate on what’s important…
Last but not least: we facilitate constant training. The more the merrier. Our next blog will be about that (I am still taking a course on it!).
As a result of all this, Roadmap can count on motivated, productive, and sharp people – on a daily, monthly, and yearly base. Not because they have to, but because they want to.
Everyone decides to be online all the time. Or not. We encourage the latter. Now, switch off your screen and look someone in the eye. Happy?