Mobile technology has made it possible for workers to be reachable round the clock. All of a sudden, we have become a generation of always-on,

The connected life & work: Pulling back from the edge

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Always connected

Mobile technology has made it possible for workers to be reachable round the clock. All of a sudden, we have become a generation of always-on, always-available workers. Part of the consequences of this is increase in personal stress and infringement on personal/family/recreation time. We are now almost always working, even when doing other stuff.

Some employers, however, are taking commendable steps to nip the trend in the bud. IBN Live reports that following in the footsteps of major German companies such as automaker Volkswagen and Deutsche Telekom, the Gemran Labour ministry has banned its “managers from calling or emailing staff out of hours except in emergencies. The ministry says the measure is intended to prevent staff from suffering undue stress by being constantly on call”. In addition, the new policy states that no staff should be penalized for turning off their cellphone or failing to pick up messages after working hours “to prevent self-exploitation.”

A very good move there, if you ask me. This always-on work life may just be the death of many people if not addressed. You can read the full news report, German Ministry bans managers from calling or emailing staff after work hours.

How about you? How is it with you and your employer? Are you always on call, responding to official calls and emails outside of formal office hours? How do you cope? Or is your employer running a policy similar to what has been implemented by the German Labour ministry? Are you an employer? What is your policy with regards staff being on call and working after hours? How do you help your staff maintain a healthy work-life balance?

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One comment

  1. I so much love this topic.

    If you are your own employer, the always on, always connected situation is an advantage.. if managed properly.

    If you are an employee, you are basically a modern_day slave. You trade your time for Pay. There are many vocations that do not have precisely defined working hours. If you are a marketer, whose employer is only interested in results, your working hours are not defined. the result is what matters.

    I don’t know how the German legislation would address that.

    Any powerful tool, like perpetual connectedness, can be misused or abused. It is important for us to take the good out, while avoiding misuse and abuse.

    If you are an employee, your options are somewhat limited. Your employer owns (most of) your time, and in situations of paucity of job you work the way the employer needs you to work, or some other amenable dude takes your job.

    If you an employer, be more prudent and don’t be a slave to technology. And don’t use technology to over emphasize the ‘slave’ status of your employees. They need to have a life despite making a living through you..

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