A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog disdaining Wi-Fi at ballparks. More recently, Mobile Pipeline ran a story about a survey that found a majority of laptop owners use their devices to check in on work while on vacation. Call me a Luddite, but I find that at least as appalling as Wi-Fi in ballparks.
Going to a ballgame or on vacation -- or taking a long holiday weekend -- should be time away from the everyday pressures of work. Unfortunately, that notion runs counter to the growing trend of infusing our leisure time with work. Spending relaxing time away from our jobs ultimately makes us more productive. But more important, it helps us be more fully human and connected to our families and friends and not simply work drones.
The retrenchment of the economy since the bubble burst seems to mean, as often as not, squeezing more productivity out of people by making them work during what should be leisure time. With good white collar jobs becoming harder to find, the implicit threat in not staying connected during leisure time is the loss of those jobs. So, out of fear or, at the very least, addiction, people take their laptops to the ballpark and on vacation.
I am, of course, a huge fan of mobile and wireless technology as a tool for increasing productivity of workers and profitability for their companies. But those productivity gains should come during work hours. Using wireless and mobile technology to keep workers tied to their jobs around the clock can lead to stress and burn-out and takes us away from our families and friends. Businesses need to understand that those impacts are not, in the long run, in their best interests.
So have a good holiday weekend and enjoy your time away.