Interesting article in the WSJ about a couple recent lawsuits from hourly workers who were required to perform work-related tasks during off-hours.
The proliferation of broadband, laptops and smartphones have made it ridiculously easy for work to bleed into personal time, or at least time that’s not classically work-only.
Add to that the fact that many of us telecommute frequently, if not permanently, and the line between work and personal time has become hopelessly blurred, especially for salaried workers.
Many of us in tech who’ve had take-home gadgets for work for over a decade never really had a line and struggle to maintain a balance. As our organizations expand to include colleagues in other countries, we add another variable to the equation, i.e. how to account for time zone differences and other countries’ legal restrictions that limit the hours their citizens can work.Making a meeting with people on different continents who can’t work after-hours means you’re either getting up before the Sun or working really late. We here in the Pacific time zone get the worst of that.
But how can you compensate? Does your work allow you a flexible schedule that balances work outside traditional hours, or are you expected to get it done by any means necessary?
This problem is exponentially worse in hard times when you’re performing to keep your job, instead of for a raise or other compensatory benefits.
Most of the people I know in tech are pretty much always available to work if needed, and their families accept this grudgingly. The economic reality we all face dictates that work must come first, at least for now.
What about you? Do you think you work too much, or do you have a nice balance? Do you have friends who work traditional hours that don’t get why you work so much?
Share in the comments.