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Disadvantages Of Laptops And Smart Phones

By Devaki

Thanks to laptops and smartphones.. They help the office goers to take their work anywhere, in the bedroom, lounge and even on the rare kids' outing as well. These gadgets make it easier for the workers to constantly check the emails.

Some people will check mails around the clock and never feel they have left the virtual office, which will become a detriment in their private lives, says a research.

Melissa Gregg from Sydney University conducted interviews with more than 26 employees in information industries, who did at least some work from home. Gregg wanted to do a research on all the extra work going outside the office, which is generally sold with this new freedom to be in touch with work when requires.

The participants said that they disagree with the belief that checking and sending the emails from home, constituted the work. But they agreed that the mails constantly invading the evenings and weekends, potentially affected the family relationships.

The study also showed that workers were checking email at night in bed and as early as 6am before children woke, that they could focus on "real work" in office hours. Gregg says that people were trying to hide from the partners and kids to spend time checking emails. They also used to check the mails on non-work days to 'keep the things moving'.

Smart phones blurs the boundaries between home and office even further, where the workers could be 'sorting out' the work issues at the footy or when they are with the kids. The iPhone act as a double edged sword, as it really quickens the pace of the work and extends the length of the work day, says the experts who took part the studies.

The people who worked entirely from home felt enormous pressure to be diligent by answering emails immediately, to prove they were not relaxing somewhere else when they are supposed to work. The stress these workers were under indicates a need for a structural change in information-based workplaces, adds Gregg.

Story first published: Tuesday, April 6, 2010, 16:58 [IST]
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