Some recent “BlackBerry experiences” remind me of the impact that continuous connection to work is having on our work styles. One executive lamented that he would have to carry his BlackBerry on a short holiday because he was expecting a key communication from his boss. Otherwise, he would leave it at the office and be blissfully unreachable for a three-day weekend.
A friend discovered at the end of a lunch that he had turned off the notification features on his belt-clipped e-mail device, and immediately began to scroll through his messages to see what he had missed. A client returned from holiday and reported he had called the office from his multi-function device just to see if it worked from a fishing boat off the coast of Mexico.
Another client reported that she can tell when a speaker at her department’s leadership meeting is not holding the attention of the group, because participants put their heads down and start thumbing e-mail text message replies. Over the weekend, I found myself checking e-mail on my smart-phone while sunning myself in a neighborhood park.
For those of us who by requirement or choice are continuously connected to our business e-mail, always-on communications are changing the way we work.