Monday, June 27, 2005

Work Life Balance and Bill Gates

Michael wrote a very nice essay on work life balance the other day and I had a few additions. (partial excerpt below)
Given my general focus is in HR and technology I could also not forget about all this technology that promised extra leisure time? Technology is NOT helping. How can you have a balance when employers expect you to be always available? Originally the very tools to help us attain work life balance have turned on us and now provide employers (and society) with the expectation that we are always available. The simple mobile phone has become a tentacle that keeps us connected to the world, we can be contacted at anytime, anywhere, whenever the callers wants us.
For myself, I personally have no work life balance. I have an office a 2 hour drive away, but I am generally working out of a client site or travelling. My work day can be 12 hours. When I get home, I turn on my laptop and do work while my wife watches TV or reads. Bottom line? I love cell phones, laptops, extended networks, and blackberrys. But hey - I have no kids and my wife is incredibly supportive. Below are some more articles.

Management Issues, Still Unsure About Flexibility. This is a UK article about the problems with flexibility in work/life and how employers still seem to not take balance seriously.

Bill Gates: The New World of Work. ahh Michael, you're right. The majority of this article is not about technology and work/life, but it's clear that Bill Gates and employers think that work is moving into the home space.
So it's not just the PC that's getting smaller and better, it's also this phone and the software that we give to the information worker has to incorporate this in as well. In fact, for many people you've got a PC at work, a PC at home, your portable PC,