June 23, 2018

Is Endless Work Contributing to Your Smartphone Addiction?

phone addiction

Picture anxiously sitting by the phone (a rotary one for artistic effect) waiting for it to ring. Since the invention of the phone, waiting for an important call is agonizing; but, I’ll argue it used to be simpler. You could walk away. Leave the phone behind and rely on your answering machine to inform you when you got home if you missed anything important.

Has it really changed? Yes. Now there’s no escape.

Why else would people feel the need for a digital detox? If this testimonial is representative, it sure seems that CPAs are a good market for it:

I didn’t realize how big of an impact the [digital detox] retreat had until I got home. When I was back at work, I felt focused, alert, and calm.

Karen // Partner at a CPA Firm

While you can turn your mobile phone off, you still feel the itch to turn it back on and check for a message. You can’t totally disconnect. The temptation is still looming in your back pocket or purse.

And with BYOD policies running rampant in the workplace, it’s not just Facebook notifications vexing you. It’s work. Endless work, intermingled with everything else.

Research suggests that there is a perpetual tug of war caused by your smartphone and your proximity to it. Our dependence on these devices really have some negative ramifications. If you’re not willing to wait for a smartphone addiction rehab center to open, we’ll cover some simpler, less expensive options.

Option 1: Leave the phone at home

If you go cold turkey to try escaping your smartphone’s grasp, you start to feel nomophobia. It’s that panic you feel when separated from your mobile phone. So, you make sure it’s close by. You convince yourself it’s necessary. You have to be available for urgent requests, just in case.

Option 2: Keep it with you, just on silent

And if it’s close by, you will be compelled to check it. A study by British researchers found participants checked their phones an average of 85 times per day! This habitual behavior is hard to break. It takes a conscious effort and even then is difficult. I tell myself I’m not going to look at my phone, then I do. I can’t help it.

Some app developers have tried to address this with a creative way to keep you focused. One, called Space, and advertises that it “uses neuroscience and AI to help you kick app addiction. No shame. No sponsors. Just a little breathing room to help you take back control.”

Not a bad idea.

We need someone to combat the “teams of neuroscientists, and product engineers [that] are building their services, laced with dopamine, to keep you hooked” as one Medium blogger put it.

Option 3: Turn it off

Okay, how about turning it off? According to Science Daily’s recent study, the mere presence of your phone is distracting too and impacts your cognitive capacity. Even if it’s off! The phone is not ringing or notifying you of anything. It’s just sitting there. Researches said, “Your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smartphone, but that process — the process of requiring yourself to not think about something — uses up some of your limited cognitive resources. It’s a brain drain.”

Am I the only one in this miserable predicament? We can’t win. That digital detox might be worth the money. Who’s in?

Image: Rohit Tandon on Unsplash

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KPMG Arrives at the Paperless Audit Party

office-space-402a-061907.jpgWe’ve received several reports about Klynveldians attending “eAudit” training this summer which marks the firm’s attempt to get break into the “paperless” audit world. Reports have been mixed with some saying that it’s best technology KPMG has invested in but others claiming that it will only run on Vista which may be problematic when Windows 7 rolls out.
Forgetting the technology mumbo-jumbo, it’s been long rumored that KPMG was the last major firm to make the move to a paperless audit. This could have been due to a number of things:
More, after the jump

• Partners that have been around since WWII that can’t even use email put the kibosh on the whole idea
• M-O-N-E-Y
• Accountants, in general, resist the idea of trying a new restaurant so don’t even think about messing with their audit methods
What’s more surprising is that some Radio Station clients have said that they prefer the old school audit. Not exactly sure what is so appealing about young auditors schleping around boxes of binders that weigh a few metric asstons but whatevs.
Our point, dude, is that KPMG has finally caved on this whole “paperless” idea. Since audits aren’t truly paperless we’re not sure what all the fuss is about but KPMGers got an extra week in Florida in the dead of summer out of it. Discuss the firm breaking into the new century in the comments or let us know how terrible your lives will be because of it.

(UPDATE) Big 4 Technology: Open Thread

Thumbnail image for Apple-II.jpgEditor’s Note: Francine McKenna is a regular contributor to Going Concern
We recently received a tip about KPMG implementing a new risk management system for vetting potential clients and engagements. The new system was put in place around the time of the second round of layoffs and according to our tip, things did not go smoothly.
Simply put, it didn’t work. Since the whole risk management thing is a big deal for any accounting firm, people were working day and night to try and get it fixed. Did we mention the layoffs? Right. They occurred right when this whole SNAFU was occurring.
Our source described the risk management process as a “total nightmare” for basically two weeks. Good news, is that things seem to be back to normal but it sounds like it was pre-tay, pre-tay hairy for a while there.
Most accounting firms, especially the Big 4, are heavily dependent on the efficient functioning of their technology. But, aside from reading this fine publication, you probably spend a good chunk of your time dealing with tech related headaches.
Firms trying to go paperless, firms still using Lotus Notes, and we’ve heard that KPMG is currently upgrading its basic operating system to run on…Windows Vista.
On the positive side, Deloitte is issuing iPhones and that’s basically all we got…
We asked our contributor, Francine McKenna for her thoughts on the Big 4’s investment in technology:

The Big 4 operate under the “shoemaker’s children” doctrine when it comes to their own technology infrastructure. Every once and a while you’ll see a big splashy investment but partners loathe spending their potential payout on common goods, and investments for the future: “If I don’t understand it or perceive a need for it, I don’t want to spend any of my money on it.” Very few of the rank and file partners understand or appreciate the firm’s technology infrastructure needs.

Discuss your firm’s technology (or lack thereof). The good, the bad, the stuff that makes you want to drop kick your laptop out the window.