While technologies becomes more advance, there no doubt the working environment of professional employees changes as well. Implied by Gregg (n.d.) “the location and time of one’s labour becomes a secondary consideration to the task of managing the expectation and/or possibility that one is available and willing to work. ” With gadgets like smart phones or tablet PC, employees are able to work from the comfort of their own home or at any given time.
This week, we learnt about the mobile workstyle where new technologies that enables employees to work where, when, and how they chose to. In which, employees are able to spend more time finishing their personal tasks, and even spending more time with the family.
“Designed and marketed as essential tools for the busy professional, such technologies are familiarly described in advertising copy as having revolutionized the working day, making the drudgery of the office a thing of the past. These representations depict the workplace as malleable enough to suit individual workers’ preferences. “
Gregg. M (n.d.)
But does such flexibility means that employees be less stressful with their work? Gregg argued that with such mobile devices available, keeping track of work takes place even in unpaid locations (non-working hours). And also added that ,”In the process however the accumulation of such practices appears to constitute a significant intensification of workload.” True enough? mobile devices are so handy that employees would check their work progress, replying emails, or even setting appointments during their off days. And eventually it just becomes a habit. Here’s where “presence bleed” occur. Presence bleed is common among mid to high level employees whereby their homes are interchangeable with their work place- home is just like their second office. Thus, not really spending quality time with family and loved ones. Not a surprise no? My father, at times, does that too, while at home during the weekends, he’ll be sitting in front of his laptop completing reports, sending emails, and busy talking on the phone with his colleagues. Not only at home but most of the time when we go out as a family as well. The only difference is when we’re out, he uses his tablet.
Gregg also discussed about the intense acceleration of work. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the work pace is intensified as well. As we learned from our lecture, machines can be shut down, but information doesn’t sleep. And because of that, employees would rather spend more time at work to read emails and keep themselves updated before coming in to work the next day and some may even come in early for work to get a head start.
Yes, mobile devices like smart phones and tablet PC allows work tasks to be done with ease, but doesn’t that mean employers can double up the work load? Base on common sense, I would say yes. Honestly, if I was an employer I would do that, to be ahead of my competitors, and obviously to gain more capitals.
Nafis, F. 2012 A Global Nervous System. September 4 [lecture] Selangor: University of Wollongong.
Gregg, M. n.d., Function creep: Communication Technologies and Anticipatory Labour in the
Information Workplace. accessed 06/09/2012. http://homecookedtheory.com/wp-content/uploads/functioncreepnms.doc