Friday, May 29, 2015

Fitbit, Smartphones, and an Integrated Work Environment

At Sprinklr, we don’t talk about “work/life balance.” Instead, we talk about “an integrated life.”

More than 60% of the company works from home and our CEO often says, “look we have all of these tools and technologies to make us efficient from various places, let’s use them.”

If you think about it, the very premise of Sprinklr is that the arrival of the connected and empowered customer changes everything…and this includes how we work.

How I Live the Integrated Lifestyle

I was a big runner but suffered a foot injury which prevented me from continuing that activity. Until that point, however, I would often send a note to the CEO (my boss) and my team saying “hey, going out for a run, I’ll be back in an hour.”  This was at 11am or 2pm or whenever.

When you’re an outcome and not an activity focused company, you can do this.

Similarly, I’d say, “I’m taking this call while driving carpool,” or “I’m about to go watch my son’s baseball game” or whatever.

Since my foot injury, I was walking on the treadmill, which was fine. I’d watch Netflix or TED talks. It was good, but not great.

Then, my wife got me a Fitbit and being the competitive guy that I am, I enjoyed tracking my progress against my friends and motivating them (and vice versa) to walk more.

So, I started looking for more opportunities to walk.

I’m always taking the stairs now. I’ll walk from the parking lot to the terminal instead of taking the shuttle.

But the real breakthrough came when I looked at all of the phone calls I was on during the day. 

I have a lot of the 20 minute “catch up/check in” variety where being in front of a computer isn’t required. Maybe some notes, a few emails, etc., but I discovered that I could take all of the calls I had to do like that and compress them in a 2 hour window on most days.

And during that 2 hour window, I walk outside of my house, across the street to a great regional park (full of trees and paths and gardens), with my phone and a headset and just walk and talk.


What happened was remarkable.

Not only am I more focused on the calls (I’m not distracted by the email or Skype on the computer in front of me) and able to address the issues more efficiently, but my blood is flowing and my brain is more alert.

So, I walk 7 or 8 miles while doing the conference calls that I have to do anyway, during which I normally would be standing or sitting in my office (and possibly eating).

Now, I’m out in nature, I’m getting exercise, I’m more focused on the person on the other end of the call…and I’m totally connected.

I’ve participated in (see our case study) presentations, Skype video calls, looked at Google docs, and more…all while walking.

Obviously, there are some times when I have to be in front of a machine (if I’m giving the presentation or have to do serious creative work), but by aligning my calls into a specified block of time, having my smartphone, and the motivator of the Fitbit, 

I’m able to integrate exercise w/work in an organic way and be more efficient.

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