Wanted: The 24/7 Employee

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A few months ago I attended a benefit for a charitable organization.  The benefit provided a good opportunity for networking and an associate and I (let’s call her Jane) made the rounds meeting many different people at the cocktail hour.  We were chatting with a woman who was a senior accounting professional at a mid-sized marketing company.  The talk turned to technology and the accounting professional told us that she didn’t have a blackberry, iphone or the like.

Jane (President of a small media company) was stunned.  Not one to mince words, she immediately remarked that she would never hire anyone at her company who wasn’t wired with a blackberry or something similar.  Her employees are required to have them and to check them (and their company voice mail) in evenings and even on the weekends.

Not having worked in the corporate world full-time in many years, I was surprised by this.  I don’t recall ever having signed up for a job that requires their employees to be in touch and accessible 24/7.  The accounting professional said as much, and Jane was adamant that this is what is required to be a valued employee and professional these days.

I disagree, and believe that every employee is entitled to a weekend off, and if work is required of them on the weekends, they should be responsible enough to do it with our without a blackberry.  That being said, I am addicted to my blackberry and check it constantly.  How do you feel about technology? Should a blackberry or iphone be a requirement for an employee in 2010?

  1. casper

    Will preface this with I am addicted to my blackberry and think it makes my life easier. I also think you’d be surprised at how many companies or bosses strongly suggest employees be reachable on “off” hours. Unfortunately, I think Jane is right and most people would not get hired without the understanding of being wired – internet at home, PDA, etc. Where it gets tricky is getting older employees to embrace new technology.

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