Saturday morning and I am working at home. Nothing too urgent but the kind of boring and administrative stuff (a global IT project for the firm) that you never find the time to do... So, since I have been provided with the technology (an encrypted "token"), I can connect from home as if I was in the office. This is step 2. Step 1 is obviously the corporate Blackberry from work. Both are supposed to help us be in the loop and to enable us to work from anywhere. But does technology help or is this just a burden that we must carry on our shoulders? There was an interesting article today on El Pais about this.
On the one hand, it is obvious that I'm doing my work from home today, which is way better than going to the office. Likewise, having the opportunity to follow up on things during working hours while outside of your office is pretty good and improves productivity and the handling of things
On the other hand, as I am growing older I increasingly tend to think that the negative aspect of "company-sponsored" technology outranks the positive one. I remember that in 2002 I got my first Blackberry from work at the firm I used to work for. Believe it or not, not many people had one of these devices at the time and people commented how lucky I was too have it. Wrong. I worked under a lot of pressure and it was literally impossible to disconnect, the worst aspect being the possibility of being reached by clients anywhere, anytime (I remember myself having a 1-hour call with a client as I walked along the Lanzada beach, in Galicia in the middle of my August holiday). Having perks such as free calls from my corporate cell was not enough to keep the balance.
My current job involves far less pressure (and calls from clients in my free time are less likely) but I still see myself checking emails after work, during lunch times or during vacation days. Plus, as I was saying, I end up working on a Saturday. And all this work time is not in my contract and, consequently, I am not getting paid for this. Maybe I should just not do it, but I'm the kind of guy who likes to get things done.
I'm planning a great three-week trip for Xmas and I'm already hoping that I have no reception there... however, I cant help thinking about the the first day after my vacation if I am completely absent for such a long time... It is kind of a catch.