No off switch: "Hyperconnectivity" on the rise is an article recently posted on ars technica. It discusses a new kind of worker that is constantly connected to work via their electronic devices. The lines between work and home are blurring for these folks and their numbers are growing.
"These individuals were found in all countries surveyed, though China and the US have the highest ratios. Banking and high-tech industries contained a higher concentration of hyperconnected individuals who are found most often in management positions, and 60 percent were under the age of 35. Hyperconnected individuals don't view themselves as early adopters of technology; their lifestyle simply seems normal."What are the implications to productivity and a person's level of stress as the lines between work and home blur? Interesting article.
I've often thought that teachers suffered this problem even before the advent of computers, cell phones and other electronics. As a group we are notorious for taking our work home with us. We grade papers and plan lessons on the couch while watching Star Trek reruns. We take pictures, read books and attend events with a part of our brain always wondering how we could use this information in our classroom. Back when outside phone lines were limited and caller ID wasn't so easily available, I did many of my parent contacts in the afternoon and early evening when I got home. (Usually grading papers while I talked.)
Sit outside a school and watch teachers walk to their cars at the end of the day. English teachers are identifiable by the the crate of papers they haul with them. Many have those little portable airport luggage dollys to which they can strap down a box or two of ungraded essays for easy transport from desk to car to kitchen table. Go to any meeting and you will see at least one teacher who is grading papers while participating in the discussion. Some teachers look like they are taking copious notes during the weekly staff meeting, when in actuality, they are planning their lessons for tomorrows sub.
Educators have been multi-tasking for years.
[Image: flickr: "My Laptop Bag-Work Version" Uploaded on September 17, 2007 by JaseMan: Creative Commons]