Friday, October 01, 2004

Of mobile phones and work-life balance at the office

A recent activity at work made it necessary to give out my mobile number to my colleagues so they could contact me in case I am needed at the office. At first I was a little hesitant. I wasn't too keen on people from work calling me at night or on the weekends, but they assured me that it will be used for emergency purposes only. There was an impending strike at work and they wanted a quick way to "call me in."

That's when I started to get "work spam" on my mobile phone. I would get sms (text messages) about an after office singing contest I have no intention of watching, much less participate in. Reminders from people at work about non-work related things. Ironically, the singing contest thing was part of an initiative of the company to promote "work-life-balance" at the office. The idea being that employees need stress relieving activities after work. My idea of work life balance however is - having not to do with anything remotely associated with work after office hours. I could think of a dozen things to do after work other than hearing my colleagues sing. Now that is stressful.

I was actually tempted to reply to that message something along the lines of: "I'm sorry. This phone number is private and is strictly for non-business use only. Please refrain from using this number in making work related announcements. Kindly use other means of communication such as the company's e-mail or my office voicemail unless the message is really urgent or in the event of an emergency". I mean it's not like they are paying for my phone and my bills right?

If they can impose something like limiting internet use in the office to strictly for business use, can't I do the same?

This post was sent via my Dell Axim X5 Pocket PC and a SonyEricsson Z600. I could have done it using just the phone but I'm not comfortable typing anything more than 160 characters on it. Isn't this sort of technology great? :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with your views! At least back there I found it easy to keep my address and number private. Here they ask for such info just like that... grrr... and everybody seems so used to giving them away they'd think you're strange if you hesitated. As if it's illegal to keep such things private! It's a relief though that people here are not as much into using their phones or dropping in on you, otherwise I'd swear it would be intolerable! And would you believe they also have lots of these work-related socializing, just when you're dying to get out of the workplace and get co-workers' faces out of your sight. But at least for those you get invited personally, i.e., when you show yourself around. So the secret is just to slink yourself through... then maybe you'll have your peace =) (ex-housie)