Frank begins rewarding staff who check their phone less

Frank is offering staff incentives to, literally, switch off from work outside of work hours in a new initiative to improve work/life balance.

Frank will reward staff who don't constantly checking their smartphones
Frank will reward staff who don't constantly checking their smartphones

The agency has partnered with with technology provider Hold, an app that can detect when staff are using their work phone and then places their phone on ‘hold’.

Staff accumulate points for the longer they stay away from their mobile devices, but the app does not completely disable smartphone use.

Once staff interact with their phone – if they press a button to look at the time or glance at an email – they stop accumulating points until they don't look at it for another 20 minutes.

Points can then be exchanged for rewards and discounts including coffee, snacks, cinema tickets, workplace perks or donations to charity within the app’s Frank marketplace.

Employees will be able to compete with their colleagues on a Frank leaderboard within the app in a similar vein to groups on FitBit.

"The idea isn’t to stop people using their phones. Instead, it’s to ensure that the decision to use them is a conscious one," Frank head of people, talent and culture Matt Jordan said.

"Working in a demanding industry like PR where you are expected to be always on, we realise how hard it is for people to switch off out of working hours. We wanted to find a solution to encourage people to maintain a better work/life balance and improve their mental wellbeing."

Although primarily designed to deter out-of-work usage, the technology also encourages employees to check their smartphones less regularly at work by placing incoming messages, emails and social media notifications on hold.

It’s designed to limit distractions, such as checking your Facebook feed, WhatsApp or Twitter and provide a first line of defence against "the near-constant dopamine hit of hundreds of notifications [that] can seriously get in the way of working".

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