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Function Creep

06 Sep

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.

Reference:

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 

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6 Comments

Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

6 responses to “Function Creep

  1. kaytesk

    September 9, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Presence bleed occur in many employees now. People are able to blur the distinct lines between labour and leisure, allowing for flexible working conditions and finally mixing business and pleasure effectively. The work everyday even on their off day. They check their appointment, check their email, contacting with customers and so on daily. The society today is too competing where people have to be efficient all the time. Time is money, if you are wasting your time it simply means you are wasting money too. Presence bleed blend up the working and leisure time and make their life is all about work, work and work. For me, I personally think that this is not good for the society. In my opinion, we should not too focus on our job and neglect thing around us. As i see, there’s many people who put too much of effort on their job and neglected their family. Parent these day could hardly see their children especially those who work outstation. I think we should balance our work and leisure time in our life.

     
  2. ChristyL

    September 9, 2012 at 9:39 am

    To keep up with the fast-paced world, we constantly have to be ahead of everyone else. But I disagree that this should dictate our lifestyles and result in a presence blur. Technological devices were designed to make our lives easier, to increase our work productivity so that we can complete tasks in a shorter amount of time, therefore limiting the need for working overtime. For instance, sales calls used to be a duty that has to be performed in person. Today, we have a different concept known as telemarketing, with a simple phone call employees can make a sale without having to even step out of their offices. Video conferencing is also a great tool to minimize time on the road, hence maximizing productivity during working hours. E-mails have also allowed us to contact people on the go, without having to physically print a letter, stamp it, and mail it to the post office. As a result, not only do we save time, but also unnecessary expenditure on miscellaneous things such as petrol and printing costs.

     
  3. irenechia

    September 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Not only parents came back home and straight away facing their laptop and tablet. Even their children do that as well. As we can see that usually after class we will go home, and start to on our laptop to check any social network website such as Twitter, Facebook, Blogs and etc. I think in today’s world, employees couldn’t survive without mobile devices. It play an important role in they life and it help them a lot to complete their task. Other than that, mobile devices will make a family less communicate with each other. Father using tablet for checking email, mother using iphone for checking recipe, siblings using laptop or iphone for playing games. Slowly, there are less conversation going on in the family because everyone only focus on their mobile devices. All their entertainment can be found in mobile devices.

     
  4. aryssafahmy

    September 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I very much agree on the very last paragraph. Having devices such as smartphones and tablet PC will make our work a lot easier and yes by having those kind of gadgets, employers would want to double up the work load. Nothing comes easy in life if you want to be good in something. Good job, Jonathan.

     
  5. lucasleehn

    September 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Networking is indeed helping us o improve our business industry. Like you mentioned, working at home while communicating or having a video conference with another global organizations is no longer an issue therefore with networking such as internet, we were able to working in an environment where communication is no longer a problem as if we were living in a village. However,I also have to agree that this has became an habit to most of us where people do not able to differentiate or organize their personal life and also working life. With the such a convenient communication tools such as handheld devices, people are able to work at anywhere in the world where they are no longer required to work in the office during office hour, however this also will cause overload of work after office hour where they need to get the job done due to the convenience of networking.

     
  6. ramconvergmedia

    October 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    I agree a lot of today’s trends are changing creatively. The global network we know today is very different from our parent’s generation. Although both our generations can agree that global network is a communication network which links everyone across the earth and that networking is indeed helping us to improve our business industry. Communicating with other people across the words or having a video conference with another global organizations is not such an issue thanks to the internet, we were able to working in an environment where communication is no longer a problem as if we are all living in a village. – Comment by Ram Peow Loong Naidu.

     

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