There is much being said about how as an employee, you could add value to your job by doing some more and making your inputs more tangible. In a way, I’m glad that the economic slowdown is reducing complacency among people, encouraging them to appreciate what they have and pushing them to frequently assess their output. I used to come across many high earners who’d it easy just by the virtue of their long tenure. On the other hand, I’ve always met many for whom striking a work-life balance has remained a concept discussed in office retreats as they have always put in 12+ hours of work per day, worked 6 days a week and in the present times are returning home only when exhaustion doesn’t allow them any more wakefulness.
So, is it justified to ‘live it up’ at work because one is mostly at work? Is it alright to make one’s social phone calls from work or, these days, complete one’s social obligations by constantly checking and responding to the goings on in their friends’ lives on Facebook or IM? Or, for that matter, intersperse one’s work day with regular reads of RSS feeds?
I don’t think so.
I believe that a work place is for making your contribution towards your organisation’s business and productivity, and reading for self-development or relaxation is best kept for hours when you ought to be relaxing. With myriad avenues for social networking through the Net, there is a higher need for us to exercise self-regulation rather than have the HR and IT devote their resources into analysing employee usage of IM or entertainment sites from work. I also believe that regular self-development is essential and employees must be encouraged to leave their work place early enough to read, blog, tweet and generally do what they must to refuel for the next day. And, if employees find their supervisor’s watching over (MBWA) demeaning, they must exercise self-regulation and, while at work, use social networking to advance their company’s interests.
Here’s some more from Steve Tobak and his commenters on the subject.