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Nonstop Connectivity Could Land Companies In Court

Jana Eggers experienced a technology meltdown while cruising through the Greek Isles on vacation. The Intuit Inc. general manager for QuickBase did her homework to confirm the cruise ship had wireless Internet access before heading out to sea.

But while at sea, a glitch in Outlook prevented Eggers from gaining access to e-mail, and the satellite connection onboard proved too slow to fix the problem. Top that off with a failed Blackberry that foiled any attempt to gain access once she reached land.

"Someone was trying to tell me not to do work while on vacation," Eggers laughed. "I was so proud of myself for having the backup I needed to get the job done, even though I tell my group, when they go on vacation, take a vacation."

Technology keeps us connected seven days a week. But if that sounds like an employer's dream come true, think again says Gayle Porter, an associate professor of management at the Rutgers University School of Business in Camden, N.J.

Companies that give employees BlackBerrys and cellular modems, providing always-on connectivity, may wind up with lawsuits, if they don't promote balance between work and play, Porter warned Monday. "The relentless pace of technology-enhanced work environments can create stimulation that may become addictive," she said.

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