Thursday, June 01, 2006

Always on connectivity?

Ages and ages ago (oh, alright - 3 March), I read with interest this post in praise of always on connectivity. Even more interesting than the post was the flurry of responses it received. I was particularly struck by one anonymous comment that said:

The rest of the world works 9-5 as normal business hours. Work those hours. Feel free to be where ever you want outside of those hours.
It was one of those moments when you find out you do still know how to make coffee come out of your nose! It was such an anachronistic remark and so out of kilter with the philosophy of the virtual company I keep in the blogosphere, that I felt compelled to contribute my 2p worth:
What world is that? If you work for a multinational organisation 9-5 becomes somewhat moot, since 9-5 in London doesn't co-incide with 9-5 in New York and Hong Kong.
I was speaking from vicarious experience, since my husband manages (from London) a department within a multinational company with bases in both NewYork and Hong Kong (as well as a few other places in between).

I had all but forgotten that exchange until this Dilbert cartoon landed in my bloglines this morning. If you aren't a daily Dilbert reader, it might be worth backtracking over the past few days to get the context, although I think the strip manages to stand okay on its own.

3 comments:

jvvw said...

I think the comment could probably be twisted to
'The rest of the world may not make work 9-5 but most of the time people won't mind if you decide do'.

Obviously jobs where you're interacting a lot with people in a different time zone are slightly different - I've done one, and left it partly because you ended up always working stupidly long days as a result because you have to be around UK hours too. I also didn't like not being able to do things outside work in the evenings.

Karyn Romeis said...

Thanks for the feedback jvvw. It's supposed to be a swings and roundabouts thing - if you were up at 3 in the morning sorting out a Hong Kong problem, it's okay if you roll into work later in the day. However, I will agree that there seems to be a reluctance on the part of many senior managers to allow that level of flexibility. I guess they're a bit "have your cake and eat it, too". Strong leanings towards McGregor's theory X (http://www.businessballs.com/mcgregor.htm). Fortunately, I work for a team where the members are regarded as grown-ups. A bit more theory Y.

jvvw said...

Hadn't heard of McGregor's theory - that's interesting.

I've took part in one of the Race for Life events last weekend too - though I've taken part in previous years too. They always get really crowded so trying to aim for a time can be a bit frustrating especially as a few minutes makes a fair difference over that distance. I didn't have a goal this year, and enjoyed it more but also did it quite a bit slower!