According to a recent survey by Computerworld, the always ‘on’ mentality is prevalent in the IT industry, and not just for the usual on-call roles such as; help desk technicians, or network support administrator.
With the mobile world we live in today, it is pretty much standard across the whole IT industry, for us to be fielding calls and emails at the weekend, during a vacation, or conducting impromptu meetings deep into the evening to cater to overseas clients or offshore teams. There is no such as thing as ‘9 to 5’, as business hours can and often do, literally mean ‘around the clock’ accessibility.
On average how often do we check messages or communicate with the office during non-traditional business hours, such as; evenings, weekends, holidays or vacation?
Over the last few years, the attitude towards accessibility has changed, from being on-call at specified times to being more responsive and active, all the time. As a result many IT professionals, say they routinely check-in to deal with issues, or help avert problems, as all too often there just isn’t time during the normal working day to deal with everything.
And, while some will consider this too intrusive into their personal life, there are many more who have a different outlook. For some, the always ‘on’ mentality can give the individual something to barter with. Particularly if their personal situations means that they wish to work from home more often, or take certain hours out during the day for childcare etc.
Even though this works well for both the employer and employee in many situations, there is still a general consensus about setting boundaries. For example, setting guidelines on what constitutes as an emergency, or what emails and calls you will respond to during non-business hours, is key in maintaining a happy and healthy balance. And, in the instances where you know you won’t be taking the call, making it clear how people can find assistance and help in your absence.