Workplace technology has been a great thing right?
Seriously, no more punching the clock for a lot of us. Workplace flexibility, the home office and non-standard hours have become the new norm for many due to advancements in mobile technology. Heck, Cisco even has a nice infographic that shows some pretty numbers around the mobile workplace. It’s fantastic for having flexibility and being able to be everywhere at once.
Is it as awesome as it appears?
Where is the line drawn?
“The Everywhere Worker,” as Cisco defines it, can do work from nearly anywhere they want thanks to the amazingnicity (yes, a made up word) of mobile technology. There are even huge financial benefits with companies saving an estimated $2,500 per telecommuting employee. The worth doesn’t come into question regarding financial cost…but personal cost.
The benefit of mobile technology is to be able to work where ever you need to be. It’s awesome. Unfortunately, where ever has turned into a whenever mentality. When work becomes so part of someone’s home, when are they actually “off the clock?” True there are a few professions where you really can’t be. Doctors, firefighters, lawyers and even PR folks depending on the client. The expectations to answer emails or take care of work-related things at any time of day typically exceed what’s actually necessary. Almost any email could be regarded as a “hot item” and the definition of what is and what isn’t an immediate, this-can-wait-until-morning priority becomes fuzzy.
Sure, you can be able to spend more time in the room with your family since you can bring work with you. Even so, if you’re with family and your head is buried in a laptop or your phone is constantly being checked, are you really there at all?
Both Parties At Fault
Sure, work…a boss…a coworker…a client…whatever, can put that added pressure on you to be on call 24/7 . Your company has given you work flexibility so there could be added responsibility. Even still, what was originally designed as a “perk” is becoming more of a “burden” to your average worker . Workplace mobility should still allow workers to be off the clock.
That said, I don’t believe companies should have all the fingers pointed at them. At the end of the day for a lot of us (though I know not all of us so simmer down) it’s a choice. Those expectations to be on call 24/7 have been placed on us because we’ve put them there. We’ve become “yes men.” It shouldn’t be up to your boss as to where the line is drawn, it should be up to you. Setting a precedent of being a yes man can ultimately be a factor into burnout.
Where do you stand?
Are you a mobile worker? How do you balance being off the clock with being an “everywhere worker?” What tricks or tips do you have for the rest of us for a better balanced life?
Oh yeah, here’s that infographic from Cisco. Originally found here.