I had a conversation recently with @JRosengard about having your mobile devices notify you of incoming messages. My short version is that I don’t do it. My phone and iPad are there to make my job easier, not so that everyone and their mother can get in touch with me all the time.

Harvard Business Review tackles the issue of being always on because of this ‘great’ gadget called a smartphone.

Is the obsession of regularly checking email really helping anyone’s bottom line? Are the unrealistic expectations these devices facilitate not setting staff up for burnout?

I think the answer to those questions is obvious. Yes it is a recipe for burnout, there is no work life balance if you are checking your email all the time outside of work hours. What do you know, when they institute off time and not always being on…

Over time, we’ve seen a more motivated team that comes to work ready for business, and goes home to get rejuvenated. They work smarter, not blindly faster. And morale is higher.

That is the same reason I work on personal stuff on Friday and then go for a bike ride, balance. I actually shut my phone totally off overnight. Anyone who has a real emergency also has my wife’s cell and can still get in touch with me.

Yes that means if you don’t have my wife’s cell you don’t have real emergencies.

2 responses to “Mobile Devices Should be Convenient for You”

  1. Eric Mann Avatar

    My parents asked me why I don’t show up on Google Latitude any more. I tried to explain it’s because I turn the Internet off during the day and only use it when I want to use it. I don’t check my email every 5 minutes, listen for beeping Facebook messages, or let apps notify me of updates.

    A tool is there for me to use … not to control my time.

    1. curtismchale Avatar

      I have my auto reply on GTalk set to:

      “I’m working it better be good” after my mom used to message me for hours every day.