Electronic footcuffs are used, for example, in order to be able to monitor condemned persons or those who are under investigation. Free and yet not free so to speak. Somehow an unsightly idea.
The blatant thing is, however, that many employees do not behave much differently when they are in their free time quickly professional eMails Checking on a smartphone, preparing presentations on the laptop or continuing online from home.
According to the latest online survey conducted by the Austrian portal karriere.at under 529 employees and 174 employers, this is the rule rather than the exception. The question you have to ask yourself: Is this good because it means more freedom for the individual? Or rather bad, because the technique works like an invisible ankle?
Only one third switches off completely!
In any case, according to a survey by karriere.at, only 29 percent of respondents said they could easily switch off at the end of a working day. Nearly half of the respondents (46 percent) check after work at least occasional emails.
18 percent of workers said they rarely get the job out of their heads and continue to work regularly in their free time. Seven percent say that they think about the job, even outside working hours, because this requires their professional position.
Entrepreneurs: 14 percent are always in use
As expected, this trend is even more pronounced among employers and executives: the total 14 percent of the survey participants said they could never get out of the work process because of their responsible position at all.
A barely a third (31 per cent) of entrepreneurs regularly work from home. Almost four out of ten (38 per cent) stated that they were able to switch off, but at least sometimes also check emails in the private environment. After all, 17 percent of entrepreneurs manage to be fully private after the end of the evening.
The survey results in detail - Smartphone, Laptop, Internet: Can you switch it off?
Employees (529 participants)
- Yes, easy. After the service I am a private person: 29 percent
- Mostly. Sometimes I check email but also at home: 46 percent
- Rare. I work regularly at home: 18 percent
- Never. In my position this is impossible: 7 percent
Employer (174 participant):
- Yes, easy. After the service I am a private person: 17 percent
- Mostly. Sometimes I check email but also at home: 38 percent
- Rare. I work regularly at home: 31 percent
- Never. In my position this is impossible: 14 percent
Guilt is not the technique!
What annoys me about such surveys: Guilt is not the technology, at least not alone. But how we deal with it. Of course, the somewhat euphemistic "Allways On" leads to constant stress and continuous stress, even to burnout.
And of course the constant availability entices people, even in times of exciting professional projects, to connect even from home via cell phone or netbook. Or the fear for the workplace forces one to do so.
The reasons lie deeper
But the real reasons for this are often much deeper: many people who use technology at home are really afraid of missing something. Or they simply find it beautiful to be used. Or they are simply afraid of not getting jobs or losing their jobs if they are not always available.
Everything totally understandable and deeply human. Practically also a perfectionism problem - about the topic of fear I have already written elsewhere. But also problems that existed before. To attribute this to the technology is too short: it only amplifies existing problems.
Mobile phone as a symbol of the changing world of work
Mobile phone, notebook Internet are just symbols of the changing world of work. Away from fixed 9 5 jobs and fixed offices to more flexibility and freedom. Certainly caused by the technology. And yet: Just go offline, turn off everything is not the solution.
What is necessary is a fundamental change in the point of view: we can not call for a free, casual work life, but we want to wish on the other hand, everything would be regulated as clearly as before.
Private life and work are mixed
The boundaries between private and professional life are becoming more and more blurred. For some, the horror idea par excellence ("then I have no free time!"), For the others a blessing ("work is part of my life!").
How we deal with these changes, we have to redefine: each individual for themselves, but also as a society. We need to think about how to deal with the dangers of this situation (more on this tomorrow). Only one thing is clear: we will not be able to turn back the wheel. Wailing does not help!
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