Is Technology Giving You More Freedom From Your Job?
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/21/2006 | Jobs and Careers
When cellphones became available it seemed that they would fill a need for instant communication - any time, any place - that would help people be more efficient and thus save time.
Then email became a mainstream method of business communication. Marvelous - now telephones wouldn't ring off the hook, messages would not have to be stored and retrieved as verbal communications, which took time. Instead, information would be clear and concise and could be retrieved and answered any time, any where - again the promise of more freedom.
With email, internet and cellphones, was it really necessary for workers to be restrained to the office? Maybe shorter work days would ensue. Perhaps parents could collect their children from school and be contacted at home via either of these methods.
The work world was changing.
This truth came about as more workers were able to take their jobs with them. The travel from home to work and back again was no longer a barrier for actually DOING the work.
Telecommunication was making itself an integral part of conducting business. With cellphones and email, distance, time and travel were no longer barriers to conducting business effectively.
For some, this meant that coming to the office every day was an option - not a requirement.
Mothers and fathers found new freedom to take care of their children while still collecting the paycheck they needed to support them. Work could be done at home, at the park, at the grocery store, at night...
Unfortunately, this ability to work anywhere has become a nuisance instead of a luxury for some individuals. The fact that they are ABLE to do business any time, any where, means that they actually ARE doing business all the time.
Rather than free them, they found that they cannot get far enough away from work to really put it away for the day. Illness and emergencies do not stop the phone from ringing or the email from piling up - and because you can access it, there is no excuse for not dealing with it.
So for some, the convenience has become a ball and chain - creating longer work hours and constant stress. For these individuals it is necessary to commit themselves and their work mates to guidelines such as turning the phone off. Not accessing email regularly. Sticking to these rules and telling other work mates your new practices should help.
Remember that you were supposed to be ASSISTED by these devices. It is in the best interest of your health and the well-being of your family if these tools keep their proper place.