Mobile Technology Will End the Eight-Hour Workday | TechWell

Mobile Technology Will End the Eight-Hour Workday

I apologize, but due to a character limit, I wasn’t able to add the unfortunate bad-news ending to that title. It should’ve read "Mobile Technology Will End the Eight-Hour Workday…by Increasing It."

Sorry to get everyone excited.

I wrote just last week about being surprised by BYOD’s rampant growth in the business world, but that surprise has waned dramatically. Now I’m far more surprised that it took so long for BYOD to catch on. After all, it’s translated into nothing more than getting more work hours out of the day from employees.

For those of us with smartphones and tablets connected to email exchanges and Google Drives, our workdays actually do not end.

Ars Technica references Forrester Research's 2013 Mobile Workforce Adoption Trends report, which states:

Gone are the days when employees wielded a simple set of tools to get work done. In today’s world of anytime, anywhere work, employees use whatever device is most convenient: desktop at home, laptop at work, tablet in a client meeting, or smartphone everywhere.

It wasn’t long ago that I started this job and excitedly told my wife after my first day, “They gave me a MacBook and they let me bring it home with me! Can you believe it?” Today, I’m working from a rented beachfront condo porch. Shirt off, sunglasses on, and that same MacBook, plus an iPhone and an iPad, all plugged in and within arm's reach.

I bet I haven’t looked away from one of those three screens for longer than ten seconds. And I can’t hear the waves because I’m streaming a podcast through my headphones. For shame.

USA Today takes a long look at the blurring lines between work and play and the double-edged sword of being part of a mobile workforce. Laura Petrecca writes, “The good news? You can do this work from afar. The bad news? You can do this work from afar.” Petrecca goes on to note:

The exploding use of these devices—and connected employees never calling it a day—has created a workplace domino effect: If one person answers the boss's e-mail after hours, others feel compelled to as well. …

The expectation of off-hours availability isn't just on doctors and others who deal with emergencies. Now it affects teachers, administrative assistants, office managers, engineers and other professionals.

Working from home and working after hours aren’t so ingrained in our employers’ expectations because this sneaky forty-plus-hour workweek is still relatively new, and many feel that we still have a chance to put our feet—and our devices—down.

Leo Widrich writes on the blog Buffer that eight hours isn't necessarily the optimal length for a workday, and he offers some great tips on how to be the most productive with your favorite mobile devices. After all, the “Y” in BYOD does stand for your.

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