In our experience the position may be even more serious as in our work with various organisations we regularly encounter managers and other members of staff who check and answer emails, plan and read reports and carry out other activities not only in their own time during the working week but at the weekend as well. It’s one of the downsides of an always-on internet allied to a conscientious workforce but it is one which is becoming even more prevalent as the move towards blended lifestyles transitions from infancy into teenager-hood.
When the internet was young, and in fact even before it was born, work-life balance largely consisted of working in the office and having a private life at home. Sure, there were times when you may have taken reports home to read but in general these were defined activities and the majority of work communications and actions were confined to the office.
But times move on and we are now in the first flush of a new instant contact, instant access world. It’s a time which opens up immense possibilities but it is also a time of great challenge and great change. We are still growing in our understanding of this new world and like teenagers we want it all and we want it now. So we check our emails at the breakfast table because we can and we retype that report from home at the weekend because the information we need is readily available. The net result is that our work-life balance is at the moment very heavily skewed towards work. And the more we ‘just’ spend a few minutes in working at home the less we see it as anything unusual