I remember when a PR woman at Amazon fondly cradled her BlackBerry and politely, yet somewhat snarkily, informed me that I would be “on call” at all hours and “expected to answer any work email, even if I’m at dinner at 10 p.m. on a Friday night.”
We’ve all heard the horror stories and probably lived it, too. You’re on vacation but expected to be on work email. You’re at home fielding texts during Sunday night dinner. You’re sitting in your cubicle, well, way past your bedtime.
Welcome to the world of technology and work. We knew it, but this new study released by the Pew Research Center looking at Internet workers seals the deal: All this new tech isn’t giving us any more leisure time. In fact, it’s making us work more. One of the report’s key findings:
35 percent of employed online adults say the Internet, email and cell phones have increased the amount of time they spend working.
One upside (depending, of course, if you’re the worker bee or the company benefitting from all this additional probably unpaid labor) of that increased work time is increased productivity. About 46 percent of the survey’s respondents said that the Internet has made them productive.
Perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at work/life balance in our companies? After all, a rested, well-rounded, healthy worker is a happy worker.