Home-office convergence: a perspective

* Reader weighs in on the loss of the weekend

In a recent column, we lamented that the downside to our always-on, always-available connectivity was that the concept of having a weekend as time “off” has essentially disappeared. We received an especially impassioned response from one of our readers who took the opposite side, making a good case for the disappearance of the weekend.

The reader wrote:

“I'm not sure that's such a bad thing. For those of us who have worked from home in the high tech industry long enough (over 10 years for me) to get used to it and adapt our lifestyles there is no weekend per se, or an eight-hour workday or workweek for that matter. You learn over the years that time becomes dynamically and efficiently allocated.

“Mobility in particular is quite significant. As I'm shopping at Sam's I'm answering e-mail, making phone calls (I know, old fashioned), and IMing on my Smartphone. How cool is that!?

“And finally, yes, I am one of those people who take their laptop and Smartphone with them on vacation. Not because I work that much while I'm on vacation - mostly so I can make sure that projects don't get stalled waiting for me to return. For instance, I may jump into an e-mail thread if I think they're getting off course or not making progress. Prior to this I'd go on vacation and when I'd return nothing would have moved forward so I limited my vacations to one week.

“Good news is that I take two-week vacations now, things keep moving along, I'm relaxed, we all have our cell phones so if the kids want to go to town we can always call them or they us, and the kids can surf the ‘Net if it's a rainy day at the beach or we want to find out what's at the movies.”

The reader makes lots of good points. Steve has likewise worked from home for more than 20 years, although it often seems as if he is living at work. And the point about having connectivity when “on vacation” certainly eliminates unpleasant surprises on return, when a quick, timely response can preclude a disaster.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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