BlackBerry/ PDAs Detrimental to Work/Life Balance

In a recent survey it was stated that Blackberry technology has improved on executive and employee productivity, but they have also had a negative impact on home life because it makes it more difficult to cut yourself off from work. The study also states that each Blackberry user was using at least an hour of their time away from work as productive time. Being able to be reached at any time, anywhere, basically is creating more work for people because there are no boundaries or times when they are unreachable.

BBDO Worldwide

“BlackBerry devices and other smart phones may have had a huge impact on
executive and employee productivity, but they also have a negative
impact on work-life balance by making it more difficult to switch off
from the office, according to a recent survey.”

The study, conducted by BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, found that
an average BlackBerry user converts 1 hour of downtime to productive
time each day.

As reported by CNET News:

“Improvement in productivity has been huge–the ability to respond
immediately has been a real bonus for the company,” said Kevin
Fitzpatrick, chief information officer at food services provider Sodexo’s UK operations. “Work-life balance swings dramatically to the company side of the scales.”(emphasis added).

And therein lies the rub. You’re trading productivity for work/life balance. The real problem is that the choice wasn’t yours – it was your boss’s.

A survey released by Digital Life America and reported by ars technica, found that, “although Americans are split over whether that constant connection is a good thing or not, being constantly connected means more work for many.”

“Contrary to shiny happy ads suggesting we do more in less time, in fact, there is evidence to suggest that we simply do more, more of the time,” analysts Kaan Yigit and David Ackerman said. “While being ‘always on’ in a social context is a natural for young people, many of those in the 25-54 age group with families and corporate jobs are struggling with work-life blending. There is a need for the mainstream workplace culture to offer ways to counterbalance.”

Director of Marketing Strategies Donna Hall expanded on why Blackberry owners may feel chained to work:

“Many have been given a BlackBerry by their employers. The expectation on the part of the employer is that once they have it they will be accessible at all times. There are no more boundaries or times when they are unreachable, even on vacation.”

As with any form of technology, it can make your life easier or make it harder.

The obsession to correspond and interface continually – to be plugged-in and turned on 24/7 – is something that leaves us overburdened, overworked, and overwhelmed.

There’s one proven way to master technology – to ensure that it doesn’t take command of your life. Actually, the answer has been there all along. It comes in the form of a button or key labeled “off.”

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