Technology and the Work/Life Balance… Is There One?

According to this article from Officing Today, the influence of technology is going to change our work landscape even more by 2020.

You can read more about their conclusions, but the five predictions they make are,

  1. Technology will provide even greater flexibility
  2. Telecommuting will rise
  3. Staff will work longer hours
  4. Staff will be connected on vacation (and expected to interact and react)
  5. Everybody will look at the work/life balance differently

How do you feel about these predictions? Does the need to always remain connected and essentially on the clock bother you?

2 thoughts on “Technology and the Work/Life Balance… Is There One?

  1. I think that the big change that has to happen is that as expectations shift about constant connectedness and availability, we need to change our definition of what it means to be working.

    Telecommuting is part of that, but another part is the understanding that an east coast employee on a global team may wake up at 6:00 and spend 30 minutes dealing with emails from Europe, then get breakfast work from home for an hour of so, tackling a tricky code problem. When you’re done, you drive into the office for five hours of office work. Maybe there’s a set of core hours from 10-2 during which everyone is expected to be present and available for face-to-face chats and meetings, so you arrive at 9 and head out at 2:30. You pick up your kid from school and take them to a dance class, where you find a chair and write up a piece of design documentation on your laptop while you’re offline and so not interruptable via IM. You take the evening to be with your kid, and at 8 PM there’s a conference call with someone in Tokyo, so you go into a home office and do that. On that call, you agree to send some information to them, so you do it right away. It’s 9:30, so you check in again, because your QA team in Shanghai started their day an hour ago, so any issues with the last code drop should have been report. If there’s a problem, you’ll stay up late resolving it. Otherwise, your day is done.

    I have worked this kind of day on several occasions, and I don’t think I’m alone in this. As we demand more hours outside of the standard 8-5 workday, we need to be more flexible about those “traditional” hours. The hard thing about for employers is that it requires trust: how do you know your employee is really working if you can’t look over at their desk and see it? We have to shift our assessment for “always-connected” workers from what we see them doing to what we see them delivering.

  2. Pingback: Vacation or Stay In | Miss Lights' Blog

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