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The perils of multitasking and playing cyber-police

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The perils of multitasking

The technologies we use at work, from wireless earpieces to e-mail, allow us to accomplish more in less time. But the addictive nature of digital connectivity can rupture our relationships with staffers.

When talking to people face-to-face, strive to make a strong personal connection. Put away your iPhone or BlackBerry. Look away from your computer monitor. Remove your headphones.

Better yet, shut off cell-phone ringers and lower the volume on your computer to avoid those beep sounds whenever you receive an e-mail. Technology and noise go hand-in-hand, so forge better ties with others by eliminating needless ambient sounds.

Should you play cyber-police?

 If you're like most managers, you probably receive a growing number of offers from technology vendors to sample their latest products for free. They sell everything from computer-spying software to infrared sensors that track your workers' whereabouts throughout the day.

While these products may provide modest benefits, consider the risks of relying on anti-privacy technology as a management tool. More than ever, employees are antsy about Big Brother peering down at them at work. Add to their angst and you will have to fight that much more to earn their trust.

Some companies force employees to wear badges with infrared sensors that pinpoint their location. But tracking your employees like animals in a nature preserve is, at minimum, a demotivator.


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