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App initiative helps Frank employees switch off – and donate to charity

App initiative helps Frank employees switch off – and donate to charity

PR firm Frank has come up with a new way to incentivise its staff to detach themselves from their smartphones that is also benefitting Unicef.

Frank has partnered with technology provider Hold to provide the Frank on Hold app, which incentivises employees with a range of rewards to switch off from work by putting their phone on hold.

The Frank on Hold app will detect when an employee has used their smartphone and will reward them with points based on how long they avoid the temptation of using it.  The app can detect any interaction with a phone, so once someone has pressed 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. The longer they hold off checking their device, the more points they are awarded.

Points can then be exchanged for rewards and discounts including coffee, snacks, cinema tickets, Frank workplace perks or donations to charity. Frank has partnered with Unicef with points earning employees the chance to donate footballs, pencils, and books.

Employees can also compete with their colleagues for who has the most points on the Frank leader board within the app.

The app will aims to help employees concentrate better at work, by removing the constant distraction of phone notifications and the temptation to Snap, tweet and check WhatsApp messages.  However, it will still allow employees to receive phone calls and notification alerts.

Matt Jordan, Head of People, Talent and Culture at Frank said:

“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. 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. We also realised how easy it was to lose focus at work in a flood of incoming messages, social media alerts and the like.

“We want to limit these distractions and give employees an to concentrate. The Frank on Hold app allows them to avoid their phones and balance their use of technology whilst earning rewards in the process.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.

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