Jan 10 2012

Is 24-Hour E-Mail Stressing Workers Out?

With the proliferation of mobile technology, some companies are taking steps to scale back off-hours demands on their workers.

If you’re a worker with a company-owned smartphone, you know the nail-biting wave of emotions that an e-mail alert can trigger. Work e-mail, like New York City, never sleeps. And work e-mails can come at any time, making workers anxious about replying as quickly as possible, lest they appear disinterested in continuous employment.

But this lack of off time is making some companies reconsider the always-on connectivity of work life in the 21st century. Jacob Morgan, a business consultant and writer for Cloud Ave, reflects on the recently announced decision by Volkswagen to shut off employee BlackBerrys before and after work hours and believes that the move is the possible start of a wider trend.

It’s too early to say how corporate decisions like Volkswagen’s will play out, but as Morgan points out, it nonetheless raises a few important points that all businesses should consider.

  • Organizations are starting to realize that a growing problem between connectivity and availability exists and needs to be solved.
  • Preserving a work-life balance is crucial for the sanity and well-being of all employees.
  • Salaries which are based on full-time work are going to become meaningless if employees contracted to work 40 hours a week are now available and working 60 hours a week.
  • Vendors in the collaboration space are going to need to take this into account and perhaps add features which allow organizations to control how much information is being sent and when.

For more on restricting corporate e-mail, read Morgan’s full post on Cloud Ave.