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Old 02-22-2007, 09:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Employees cause of mobile work boom

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Id imagine this report is released by a series of CEOs who just want to pass blame, but upon further review, Im wrong. A survey put on by YouGov and Coleman-Parkes in the UK reports that employees themselves are the cause of the ongoing mobile work boom, with mention of a noticeable increase in the last year. A pretty surprising 53% of respondents note that they work on the go, 13% of them do so on a daily basis.

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BlackBerryCool Employees cause of mobile work boom
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Old 03-01-2007, 01:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Employees cause of mobile work boom - let's embrace it

Thanks for highlighting another fascinating article. I have posted a reply to it on the Blackberry Cool website.
More and more in the UK and the rest of Europe, we are seeing the mobile work boom growing apace. It is my belief that RIM pioneered the way with their Push Email Technology which has facilitated easy mobile email communication. This technology has now been adopted by many of the European phone networks and by Microsoft.
We see the growth because we make the Freedom range of portable Bluetooth keyboards and we see more and more Corporations equipping their workforce with a Blackberry or another smartphone and one of our external keyboards.

As the dot mobi revolution continues to evolve and the smartphones become ever more powerful, so it becomes easier for people to perform a wider variety of tasks away from the office without the need for expensive and cumbersome laptops.

Let's embrace this revolution, it gives employees a more flexible, productive and enjoyable working life.

Chris Macsween.

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Old 03-02-2007, 08:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismacsween
Let's embrace this revolution, it gives employees a more flexible, productive and enjoyable working life.
I'm sure the revolution will happen whether we embrace it or not.

I can't be as optimistic about the positive aspects of this change as you seem to be. My personal experience is that employers are using mobile technology to try and squeeze more work out of people during non-working hours, not to give their employees more flexibility.

In addition, I am concerned with the new workplace attitude that says it's OK to interrupt people anytime, anywhere, for any reason.

I know someone who got in hot water because she failed to answer an email within 24 hours while she was on vacation. I know people who feel like they have to take their PDAs with them to the bathroom, "just in case." (Is anything that big an emergency???)

I work so I can live, I don't live so I can work. Private and family time - the conerstones of a healthy society - should be respected by employers, and not interrupted for silly little pseudo-emergencies that can really afford to wait until regular working hours. Sometimes I think employees feel like they have no choice but to keep their communication devices within 10 feet of their person at all times. Frankly, I believe if less people felt that way about their BlackBerry devices and more people felt that way about their children, many serious problems in our society would disappear.

It's one thing to be able to communicate when you choose. It's another to feel like you must let other people communicate with you whenever they choose. I'm beginning to feel like my attitude - that down time is worth preserving - is no longer the norm for working professionals, and that worries me. In a very big way.

(Sorry for the rant.)
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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[quote=

I know people who feel like they have to take their PDAs with them to the bathroom, "just in case." (Is anything [I]that [/i]big an emergency???)
QUOTE]

I do this but its mostly to play brickbreaker
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply and spending the time expressing your thoughts on this subject.

I absolutely agree with you about personal time: the home/work balance is something that far too many people seem to get wrong.
I have always put my family first - it is too late to realise you have neglected them when you find yourself alone.

But, as you say

"I'm sure the revolution will happen whether we embrace it or not. "

so I think it is more a case of being very clear about working hours with an employer. In Europe, it is the norm to have at least two cell phones, one provided by the employer to be used in working hours and a second personal device for your own leisure time use.

"I know someone who got in hot water because she failed to answer an email within 24 hours while she was on vacation"

I don't know about employee rights in the US but, in Europe, if an employer put pressure on an employee in this way, the employee would be well within her rights to complain to an Industrial Tribunal. This right to redress will temper most employers to behave in a reasonable fashion. But, to be fair, in my experience, most employers have worked out that a happy workforce is a productive workforce and these problems will be very short lived if they appear at all.

So, I still think that the mobile revolution is a great development. It gives us back choice and flexibility in that we are no longer bound to our office computers.
My own experience is that I use my smartphone and my keyboard extensively and I probably have MORE leisure time now than I ever did.
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismacsween
I don't know about employee rights in the US but, in Europe, if an employer put pressure on an employee in this way, the employee would be well within her rights to complain to an Industrial Tribunal.
Here, unless an employee is part of a union (think factory workers and teachers) there is no one to complain to. Hiring is "at will," meaning either party can walk away at any time for pretty much any reason.

Occasionally, hiring is done with a specific contract... in which case the employee is considered his/her own employer and receives cash only from the company they contract with (no benefits such as a pension or health insurance) for doing a specific job. Any disputes about the contract or its execution can be settled only in the courts.

So... if you go to your employer in the US and say, "I object to my working conditions," you will very likely hear some variation of, "Please learn to lump it, or find someplace else to work."

(The only concrete exceptions to this are discriminatory exceptions: i.e., it is illegal to fire or favor someone because of ethnicity, gender, religion, etc.)
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachberry
I do this but its mostly to play brickbreaker
LOL! Well, that's different.
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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So you need to get your contract right at the outset.
At the end of the day, employers are only as good as the workforce they employ.

This mobile technology really isn't a threat, honestly! -it's an opportunity to livr your life the way you want to . Think of the saving on commuting to and from work if you could carry your office around with you.

Also, don't forget, we all spend time on our computers for LEISURE too! You and I are both choosing to be on our computers now - in the Blackberry forum.
Using your Blackberry and a keyboard isn't all bad or a threat to home life!
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I guess I'm not communicating effectively:

I don't think technology is a threat, or I wouldn't be working in software development. Neither do I think of BlackBerry devices as a hindrance, or I wouldn't own one.

My concern, as I read the article above and the comments below it, was that as we are now able to be reached at any time, some people are beginning to expect us to be available at any time. And in some cases, that expectation is called a "productivity" issue. That expectation is, I believe, a threat.

It sounds as though you don't have this concern, or don't have it to the same degree, because your personal experiences have been different than mine. I'm pleased that in your life this isn't an issue. You sound as though you'd be good to work for. I wish more people were. Please be aware that many people - perhaps especially in my country and in my industry (IT) - do not have much choice anymore about how often they have to check their email and/or answer their phone, even during off hours.

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Old 03-02-2007, 11:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You are very kind and I do understand where you are coming home - I really do.
But, as you say, this mobile revolution isn't going to go away and embracing the technology and putting in the personal controls to make sure our lives aren't compromised or swamped by it must be the way to go.

We do have an office in the US actually but we have always respected the private time of everyone who works with us on both sides of the pond.
And as my work is in IT too as we make the Freedom Bluetooth keyboards, I know well the pressures! We provide after sales help to people all over the world if they have connection problems. So, we can be contacted from early morning (Australia, Taiwan, Singapore etc), then Continental Europe and UK, and after lunch America wakes up and goes on through to late evening.
Sounds a nightmare! It isn't! We receive emails initially and we respond during our local working hours. Very few people are upset by this.(And those that are are probably upset by everything! )
People understand that everyone needs a private life.
To be honest, it was trying to deal with all the crazy time zones when I was travelling, that first gave us the idea to make a keyboard to work with the Blackberry and other smartphones.
Tapping on a small keypad on the phone from a hotel room was a nightmare. Emails took for ever.

But taking control of your life in today's world and in our industry in particular is important to do. You have great principles so stand up for them. There is always a choice if you look for it! I wish you lots of luck!
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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i felt the same way that most people do about separating my business life and personal life. But now i have started to do a lot of consulting work and i also split a district sales manager position with my wife. So really at this point i find it almost mandatory for me to be able to work from my home, or on the go. This is not really the most conducive behavior for having a life. But its the only way i can get anything done; multitasking, working at home, and pretty much when i can and where i can.
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