Advertising
Advertising

Blackberry Slavery

Blackberry Slavery

Blackberry Slavery

    A participant in one of my time management workshops recently shared that her corporate culture has evolved to the point where a manager who owns a Blackberry is expected to respond to email within the hour.

    In a few of those instances in which she took too long to respond, the results was an email to her boss’s boss with a complaint.

    This made me wonder… What happens when an employee receives the “gift” of a Blackberry or iPhone from their company?

    Advertising

    What unpoken expectations are delivered along with the smartphone?

    What is the human resource department doing to create policies to prevent the worst from happening — executives sending messages back and forth at 5 am, or 20 hour games of “email ping-pong.”

    One enlightened company I am aware of actually has had a long-standing policy that their managers cannot send or read email of phone calls on their designated days off.

    Advertising

    Dragging

      Most companies, however, are stampeding in the opposite direction, invading what used to be their employees private moments with a “play or else mentality.” Nights, mornings, weekends, holidays and vacations are now fair game in an increasing number of companies, and the recession has only given companies a fresh reason to turn up the pressure on the lucky survivors of the most recent layoff.

      Of course, neither RIM nor Apple is to blame.

      Instead, bad habits are becoming enshrined into company practice, and the result is a drop in productivity.

      Sending an email entitled “URGENT” has turned into the new way of delivering urgent messages, replacing the telephone.

      Advertising

      The results are simply disastrous, as professionals chain themselves to their smartphones, checking and re-checking their email, just in case they received an urgent email in the last five minutes.

      That’s a LOT of checking for a 1 in 500 event.

      That’s also a LOT of wasted attention.

      By now, we probably have all been subject to “email attention,” which differs from the regular attention that one receives in a normal in-person, or phone conversation.

      Advertising

      We start out talking with a colleague and the conversation goes well until we detect that they have made the switch to checking their device to see if they have received any urgent email.

      Their responses become just a little delayed, and we can sense that something has shifted as they join the latest game of email ping-pong happening somewhere in cyber-space. Whether they are standing in front of us, or 3000 miles away, the effect is the same — the conversation slows down as they hit reply, start typing and hit send, even as they insist they are “still listening” when challenged.

      Unfortunately, it’s fear that’s driving them to unproductive and ineffective habits.

      This is what some of their spouses, kids, friends and colleagues are seeing when they react with a shake of the head, and words like “addicted” and “Crackberry” are muttered just outside earshot.

      A few have seen the light and are returning, losing, and even breaking their companies’ Blackberry’s and iPhones.

      Even fewer are confronting the culture of fear and intimidation that has subtly being created with the aid of this new technology. It takes courage to say no to bad habits, no matter how wide-spread they are. It takes a clear mind to say yes to a higher productivity that is waiting for companies that can see the trap clearly, and are willing to set new policies to address them.

      More by this author

      Francis Wade

      Author, Management Consultant

      How To Manage A Post-College Productivity Dip Why You Need to Understand and Accept Your Productive Type A Tendencies The New Lifehacking #7 – Why You Should Be Open to New Stuff, But Wary About Using It The New LifeHacking #6 – Staying Away from Harmful Gadgets The New Lifehacking #5 – Tricking Yourself into Making the Changes You Need

      Trending in Work

      1Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What 2What Highly Successful People Do Every Day To Perform At Their Best 310 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader 4How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position 517 Versatile Work Skills Employers Want to See in Potential Employees

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on August 20, 2018

      Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What

      Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What

      Do you know that feeling? The one where you have to wake up to go to your boring 9-5 job to work with the same boring colleagues who don’t appreciate what you do.

      I do, and that’s why I’ve decided to quit my job and follow my passion. This, however, requires a solid plan and some guts.

      The one who perseveres doesn’t always win. Sometimes life has more to offer when you quit your current job. Yes, I know. It’s overwhelming and scary.

      People who quit are often seen as ‘losers’. They say: “You should finish what you’ve started”.

      I know like no other that quitting your job can be very stressful. A dozen questions come up when you’re thinking about quitting your job, most starting with: What if?

      Advertising

      “What if I don’t find a job I love and regret quitting my current job?”
      “What if I can’t find another job and I get in debt because I can’t pay my bills?”
      “What if my family and friends judge me and disapprove of the decisions I make?”
      “What if I quit my job to pursue my dream, but I fail?

      After all, if you admit to the truth of your surroundings, you’re forced to acknowledge that you’ve made a wrong decision by choosing your current job. But don’t forget that quitting certain things in life can be the path to your success!

      One of my favorite quotes by Henry Ford:

      If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

      Everything takes energy

      Everything you do in life takes energy. It takes energy to participate in your weekly activities. It takes energy to commute to work every day. It takes energy to organize your sister’s big wedding.

      Advertising

      Each of the responsibilities we have take a little bit of our energy. We only have a certain amount of energy a day, so we have to spend it wisely.  Same goes for our time. The only things we can’t buy in this world are time and energy. Yes, you could buy an energy drink, but will it feel the same as eight hours of sleep? Will it be as healthy?

      The more stress there is in your life, the less focus you have. This will weaken your results.

      Find something that is worth doing

      Do you have to quit every time the going gets touch? Absolutely not! You should quit when you’ve put everything you’ve got into something, but don’t see a bright future in it.

      When you do something you love and that has purpose in your life, you should push through and give everything you have.

      I find star athletes very inspiring. They don’t quit till they step on that stage to receive their hard earned gold medal. From the start, they know how much work its going to take and what they have to sacrifice.

      Advertising

      When you do something you’re really passionate about, you’re not in a downward spiral. Before you even start you can already see the finish line. The more focus you have for something, the faster you’ll reach the finish.

      It is definitely possible to spend your valuable time on something you love and earn money doing it. You just have to find out how — by doing enough research.

      Other excuses I often hear are:

      “But I have my wife and kids, who is going to pay the bills?”
      “I don’t have time for that, I’m too busy with… stuff” (Like watching TV for 2 hours every day.)
      “At least I get the same paycheck every month if I work for a boss.”
      “Quitting my job is too much risk with this crisis.”

      I understand those points. But if you’ve never tried it, you’ll never know how it could be. The fear of failure keeps people from stepping out of their comfort zone.

      Advertising

      I’ve heard many people say, “I work to let my children make their dream come true”. I think they should rephrase that sentence to: “I pursue my dreams — to inspire and show my children anything is possible.” 

      Conclusion

      Think carefully about what you spend your time on. Don’t waste it on things that don’t brighten your future. Instead, search for opportunities. And come up with a solid plan before you take any impulsive actions.

      Only good things happen outside of your comfort zone.

      Do you dare to quit your job for more success in life?

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Read Next