The curse of the BlackBerry

A rather depressing article in The Sunday Telegraph, about the world of work. Once work was work, and home was home, but now no longer, or not for a lot of people, if a report by Continental Research for Mitel is to be believed.

Getting away from work is growing harder, with more than half of companies encouraging staff to check their emails while on holiday. Businesses are taking advantage of mobile gadgets such as the BlackBerry to ensure that workers are never out of touch. But critics fear that the blurring of the line between work and leisure time is putting employees under strain.

For the lawyers who work for us, the BlackBerry is still a status symbol. Although they may be ubiquitous in the City, we do not give them out to everyone. Consequently the day IT produce one, you know you have made it (well, think you have). Which makes it all the more puzzling for my team that I handed mine back some two and a half years ago, fed up with the endless email traffic, and the invitation to discourtesy that BlackBerries offer. Not a meeting passes without someone playing with one under the table. I’m with Jim Norton, a senior policy adviser at the Institute of Directors, who is reported as commenting: “Anyone who works 100 per cent of the time will not be working very effectively.”

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