“If we’re always available, then we’re expected to always be available.”
MOST people I know feel too connected — not to family or friends, but to electronic devices like smartphones and computers. They feel a need to check e-mails, texts and social networks almost constantly on the off chance that an emergency has popped up in the last five minutes that they absolutely, positively have to address.
Most people I know also would like to feel less connected to those devices. They realize that they could go an hour or a day — or (gasp!) even longer — without going online, but two things prevent it: constantly checking our texts and e-mails has become like a tic, or a hard habit to break; and most of us feel that if everyone else is available 24 hours, then we have to be, too.
“Some industries are so highly volatile that people need to be connected all the time, but most of us overexaggerate our own importance,” said Dalton Conley, dean for the social services at New York University and author of “Elsewhere” (Pantheon, 2009).
“Then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy — if we’re always available, then we’re expected to always be available.”
But, as Professor Conley added, companies are increasingly realizing that employees need to be disconnected from time to time and that “giving workers time to chill helps ultimate long-term productivity.”
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via New York Times – Alina Tugend