My first response to this was, er, instinctual – they’ll never take my crackberry away from me! Never!
Since reading this story, this has nagged at the back of the ol’ brain. Why? I think it’s got to do with the work/play or work/life divide. On the work side:
Linda Duxbury, a professor at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business, said the use of personal digital devices such as the BlackBerry increases employees’ workload dramatically.
“It increases our ability to work anytime, anywhere, immediate answers expected, be available 24-7, on the road, at home, on weekends, on vacation,” she added Friday. (Source: CBC News)
True enough. But here’s the thing: with SMS and internet access built in, the crackberry ain’t just about work. I’m constantly using my ‘berry after hours, but usually it’s doing stuff like this: to read the news, catch up with the latest sports scores, check the weather, drop in on the Twitterverse, chat with family and friends.
I suppose that using a mobile that’s been provided by my workplace in this way is strictly speaking a bad thing that could get me in trouble — There’s probably a policy somewhere that says what I am doing is wrong. Mea culpa. But in a world that’s online 24/7, where exactly do you draw the line?
Aside: I have checked out my wireless use a little, and I’ve been told that I’ve never incurred more than the monthly minimum change for our data plan at work. So not to worry, taxpayers, I’m not costing you any more money with my frivolities.
I guess what I’m saying is — it’s not about the tools, but rather the attitude that one brings to them. The impulse to respond to emails as soon as they hit the inbox on the ‘berry is the exact same thing as the compulsive need to answer the phone just because it’s ringing. If you want to address work related stress, that’s where the emphasis needs to be, no matter what the device in question is.