“No internet connection.”
Cue the eyeroll, audible groan, and heavy sigh as perhaps the three most feared words of our modern culture appeared on my phone’s screen.
I was sitting in my car in a parking lot of a nondescript office park, waiting for my wife and daughter to finish an appointment in one of the businesses. As they walked inside, I (almost instinctively) pulled my phone out of my pocket and logged in, as most people tend to do these days when faced with the threat of Having To Wait With Nothing To Do.This area of town is notorious for having bad cell coverage, and surrounded by a bunch of brick buildings certainly wasn’t helping with getting a signal. I opened the connection settings on the phone to see if there happened to be an open wi-fi network. Unsurprisingly there wasn’t one. (Kudos to the IT security guys in this office park, I guess.) I decided to turn on the radio and started scanning through my preset stations. Commercial… commercial… a song I’d rather not listen to now… commercial… radio off.
Wishing that I could open the Teams app to check in with work or refresh my inbox to see if I had any new messages, I started scrolling through my apps thinking I might just play a quick game to pass the time, but then something caught my eye: a ladybug was crawling up the windshield of the car.
I sat and watched it for a bit as it continued its ascent up the glass. Then it spread its wings and quickly zipped away. I followed its flight path for a bit until it vanished from view. It was, I realized as I gazed around, an undeniably beautiful fall afternoon. The trees in the parking lot were putting on quite a show, with leaves in shades of gold and orange, some falling gently to the ground. The brilliant sun glinted off the wings of other insects, as they flitted about, full of energy. The ornamental grasses in the landscaped areas around the buildings swayed gently in the autumn breeze. And then it struck me – I was unplugged from the distractions of modern work and immersed in the present moment, and it was beautiful. I sat there for a while, simply enjoying the simple slice of natural life in a random parking lot, and the tranquility that came without any modern distractions as I watched the leaves fall and gently blow on the sidewalk.
Microsoft 365 has revolutionized our ability to connect with colleagues and keep in touch with work at all times. And that can be a great thing, in many ways. Not feeling shackled to your desk and being able to stay connected when you’re out and about is a major benefit to workers and achieving a work-life balance. Yet, at times, this accessibility can backfire – too often we feel compelled to be always available, making sure that no matter where we’re at or what we’re doing, we can be connected to the office. And at some point, that can become unhealthy. Some businesses have even begun to utilize features like Viva Insights to help employees maintain that work-life equilibrium. It’s also nice to be able to utilize features on your phone like “Do Not Disturb” and set limits on when you can be expected to be available. Or you could just drive to a parking lot with no mobile internet connectivity.
As always, Pait Group is here to help get your Microsoft 365 environment up and running to help your employees stay engaged and happy, improve your productivity and business flow, and make the most of the workday and beyond. And once we’ve equipped you with a digital workplace that empowers you to collaborate and communicate from anywhere, just remember to take a moment to disconnect from all that technology – even for a few minutes – and enjoy the moment and the beauty of the world around you.