Take a lead from Carat and recharge your batteries over the summer holidays

Arif Durrani, head of media at Campaign and editor of Media Week
Arif Durrani, head of media at Campaign and editor of Media Week

School's out for the summer - and so too, for once, is the sunshine. As teachers across the country pick themselves up and begin the healing process, spurred on no doubt by the promise that Michael Gove will not be returning to class in September, thoughts invariably turn to our own great escapes.

Arianna Huffington struck a chord a few weeks ago when she regaled London with her "Third Metric" – a term to describe the measure of success that goes beyond money and power. And why not? Who doesn’t want more well-being in their lives?

Except, for those working in the media business, getting that work/life balance right can be easier said than done. Whether agency- or media owner-side, servicing clients and responding to the rhythms of readers or viewers often means working to someone else’s timetable.

The situation has been exacerbated by the arrival of our always-on culture. Everyone is expected to be able to respond to those unforeseen moments and there’s simply no escaping that e-mail request when carrying at least one smartphone.

'The "hotel" allows workers to put their phones in for some deserved R&R when they go on holiday'

So full marks to the caring souls at Carat this week for the creation of the exclusive Carat Phone Hotel. More than 550 staff are being encouraged to leave their phones in the office as part of a digital detox.

Described as a "wonderful five-star resort situated on Carat’s salubrious fourth floor and overlooking the desirable MD’s desk location", the "hotel" allows workers to put their phones in for some deserved R&R when they go on holiday.

Out goes the temptation to check your inbox while drinking mojitos on the beach; forget responding to clients’ e-mail requests. And to encourage even the most ardent workaholics to check in, participants will be entered into a prize draw to win a pair of British Airways tickets for their next getaway.

Described by Matthew Landeman, who chairs the People Group behind it, as a tongue-in-cheek concept with a serious message, the offer forms part of a series of initiatives that include waging war on internal meetings and eating lunch at your desk.

The days of those in media being viewed as monkeys with calculators are long gone. Let’s celebrate carving a bit back for ourselves this summer – but if you could just complete those media awards judging commitments first, that would be much appreciated.



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