Just when we thought the workplace was getting more progressive about these sort of things, ABC has gone and forced its writers to sign a waiver that they won’t charge overtime for BlackBerry usage. The Writers Union has stepped in, advising members not to sign the waiver, forcing ABC to begin recalling some of the devices. This is a hot-button topic for those who live and die by the thumb… few want to be at work 24 hours a day, but it has become the standard in many workplaces and raised expectations to inhumane levels. How are things set up in your office? Is it frowned upon if you don’t check your BlackBerry at 10 PM?
An editorialist over at ITWeek has suggested that software should be developed for metering time spent on BlackBerrys so that corporate users could be paid overtime for working while not at work. With the feds here in Ottawa, it’s a given that you’re either on your BlackBerry nonstop, or you’re not a “team player” as it were.
The viability of something like BlackBerry overtime happening would not only rely on the corporate goodwill of management, but also on the costs of setting the system up. There would be an excessive amount of back-end paperwork in terms of payroll, involving dishing out pennies and dimes for two-second e-mail checks, not to mention administrative costs of maintaining whatever software solution was involved.
Of course, those aren’t absolute roadblocks – there are reasonable solutions to be found that could encourage extra productivity through BlackBerry usage while not being too much of a managerial hassle. If any corporate users out there have a system like this in place, we’d love to hear from you.