Time Stacking

I believe that hospitality and technology are a modern day oxymoron. There is truly nothing hospitable about modern day technology. Think about it, how often have you walked down a corridor or hallway and almost bumped into somebody that wasn’t paying attention because they were on their phone, or how many times have you been in a meeting where somebody’s not paying attention because they’re on

their phone or computer?

All the modern technologies that were invented were invented to make our lives simpler and more efficient and the byproduct was to give us more time. But actually the opposite has happened. All these technologies from the fax machine, the personal computer, emails, text messages, smart phones, tablets were all invented to make us more efficient, thereby giving us more spare time.
But now instead of being on a plane and watching the movie, we’re on our computers. Instead of being in our car on the drive home listening to music to soothe us, we’re on our cell phones.  Instead

of being fully engaged in a meeting, we are on our smart phones trying to multitask. What’s happening is we might be more efficient, but we are less engaged and less present. This is called time stacking, where we’re multitasking over and over again and piling tasks on top of each other.

Just think about the millennial generation and how efficient they are with technology. The byproduct though is that they sometimes lack social skills and being engaged in the present.
In my operations, I don’t allow my team or managers to be on their cell phones while they’re guest-forward.  My reasoning is simple. If you’re not engaging with the guests, you’re not able to assist them, and if you’re staring into your phone or your computer, you’re certainly not engaging with your guests.

There’s nothing wrong with modern technology, quite the opposite. It’s wonderful.  I use it all the time and don’t know where I’d be without it. The difference is that I understand when it’s important to actually engage people in face-to-face one-on-one conversation.

As a society, we have to be more self-aware and know when to turn off our electronics and actually be human beings to each other and appreciate the value of face to face communication.

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