What is Calm Tech?
Calm tech is an approach to technology that prioritizes peace of mind and minimal distractions. It's about using technology in a way that doesn't cause undue stress or anxiety, and that actually enhances our ability to be productive and creative.
There are a few key characteristics that make up calm tech:
- It's ambient: Calm tech is designed to fade into the background so that it doesn't demand our attention unless necessary.
- It's decentralized: Rather than having one central device that we rely on for everything, calm tech utilizes multiple devices that work together seamlessly.
- It's non-disruptive: Even when calm tech notifications do pop up, they're designed not to break our concentration or disrupt our flow state.
- It works offline: One of the goals of calm tech is to help us disconnect from the constant pull of the internet so that we can focus on the task at hand.
How is Calm Tech influencing Hustle Culture?
While it's still too soon to say for certain whether calm tech will become mainstream, there are a few factors working in its favor. For one, there's an increasing awareness of the importance of mental health and well-being in both the general population and within organizations. In recent years, we've seen a proliferation of articles, books, and studies on the benefits of meditation, mindfulness, self-care, and rest in general — all of which support the idea of using technology in a way that doesn't further tax our already overworked brains without sacrificing its benefits.
What's more, there's been a shift in how we think about productivity. In the past, being productive meant working long hours and grinding through projects regardless of how we felt mentally or emotionally. But now there's a growing recognition that real productivity comes from taking care of ourselves first and foremost and following our energy instead of our calendars.
The days of staying late at the office and downing more carbs and coffee to meet a deadline are over (about damn time, right?!). Instead, try getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, exercising regularly, and making time for leisure activities outside of work so you can crush it when you’re at work. In other words, adopt habits that help to sustain your energy levels throughout the day rather than just powering through on caffeine and willpower alone.
Could Calm Tech be the future of workplace productivity?
Calm tech is very much in line with this new way of thinking about productivity. But, what about our workplace productivity and communication tools themselves? How are we embracing the practices of calm tech when it comes to those? Are we at all? And if not, what benefits are we missing out on?
The thing about it: Are you one of the millions who shudder every time they hear a Slack notification, even when you know it’s not yours? Do you obsessively check notifications to see who’s viewed or commented on a Google Doc you recently shared? We’re not even going to ask how many times you check your email in a day… how many times did you check it since you started reading this article??
For decades, workplace productivity tools have pinged and dinged their way into our subconscious, making workers more distracted, obsessive, and anxious in their relentless march to be relevant and timely. And, it’s making it harder than ever for anyone to get anything done. There’s a better way, folks.
At Murmur, we believe that our users’ time and attention when they’re in the app are precious. We want to help folks get in, get things done, and get out as fast as they can so they can move on to other things. We don’t want you obsessing over what might be happening in Murmur when you’re not in there. So, we’re going against the grain and incorporating calm tech features and functionality to help you focus on what needs to get done and then move on to the next thing that needs to get done — no multitasking, no divided attention.
Only time will tell whether calm tech will become widely adopted or whether it will remain a niche concept favored by only a small subset of cutting-edge companies. But one thing is certain: as our world (and workplaces!) becomes ever more hectic and stressful, there will be an increasing demand for products and services that help us find moments of peace, quiet, and focus amidst all the noise — and calm tech just might be the ticket to redefining the way we work. For realz this time.