I must admit mixed feelings about an article I recently read regarding what work at home employees really do when working at home. I business partner recently sent me the article and I was just a few lines into it when the alarm bells began to go off.
The article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek was reporting the results of a survey conducted by Citrix. My first thought was how can I get my hands on every copy of this story and burn them! After recognizing the uselessness of this idea and realizing thought alone showed my age (no self respecting Gen Y’er would have had that thought since magazines made of paper are kind of passé) I read on.
The article stated that the Citrix survey found that 43% of all work at home employees admit to watching TV at some point while “officially” working at home. 20% admitted to playing a video game. The next piece of data was the hard one to swallow… 24% of those surveyed admitted to having a drink.
Gulp. I personally have never had a drink during working hours…. I thought. But then, as read the article, I realized they have changed the definition of what workings are.
Citrix has an outlook about what the new work day looks like and I wish the article did a better job of bringing this to light. The feeling is that work is no longer taking place in a 9 to 5 cycle. I personally have found myself working as late as midnight or as early as 3am. I’m sure, as technology has allowed it, we’ve all done work during “off” hours or in non-work environments (As a great example I’m writing this article while in my doctor’s waiting room).
Citrix believes, and I believe they’re correct, that work and personal life have begun to intersect more and more. Work and personal life now take place in slices throughout the entire 24 hour day. We’re moving back to a more organic work style that used to exist prior to the industrial revolution when we decided that everyone had to work and manufacture products in the same building.
The efficiencies that working in the same building created are being addressed by technology. The idea of work being done within one complex, students meeting within one classroom or collaboration taking place around one table is being challenged by the new devices and delivery methods available.
So, back to that drink. Looking at work in this light I may have to change my answer. Have I had a glass of wine and found myself working at 10pm? Maybe. How about you?
Let me know what you think of the Bloomberg BusinessWeek article. I look forward to your feedback.