As we move into a fully connected world there is a bigger expectation that we allow intrusions into our personal lives. While it may be a blackberry or a pager, in today’s world the expectation is that there is no more 9-5. This social contract is acceptable as long as the contract extends both directions.
Studies show that employees that visit facebook or twitter are more productive than those that are expected 8 full hours of heads down work. The reason is simple, the brain is designed to process way more information than we can utilize. By pulling away from a problem the synapses can evaluate in a different vantage.
The employee that answers a phone on vacation should also be afforded the opportunity to answer a call at work. The employee that skips a weekend with their friends should be allowed to catchup on facebook. The paradigm is changing and business has to adapt. I am fortunate to work with a company that understands that and gives applicable time to those employees who give up portions of their lives. The melding works well and the employees appreciate the trust and giving.
There is a misconception that the employee and employer can simply break connections. We refer to our blackberries as our “ball and chain,” but in the sudo-family atmosphere it is important to keep in touch. Doing so allows us to fully appreciate the taking and giving.