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Author's profile photo Milja Gillespie

Where does the mobile life begin and end?

When it comes to separating your work life and your personal life there is no question that the line can be blurry depending on your job. I used to be jealous that my sister, who is a nurse, can simply leave the hospital at the end of her shift, go home and leave work behind; She starts her next shift fresh with new patients. She doesn’t constantly makes notes of her do to do list on her mobile phone. She doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night with a great idea, reach for her phone and send herself an email. She isn’t checking the status of her active projects when her shift is over.

But in a great many industries, there are there are a lot of people who do exactly this. We’ve become a society that is intimately connected to our mobile devices. We are constantly checking them for Facebook updates, or new personal emails or text messages.  Our smartphones are always in hand (or on the bedside table within easy reach). While this habit was born out of our personal use of these devices, it bleeds over into our work lives. We are so connected that we check on work projects outside of standard work hours (if standard hours even exist anymore). While this may be inevitable for some people, does it really affect how we set corporate policies around mobility?

I think it does. In fact, the topic gets interesting when we talk about adopting a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model for certain employee types. There is an HR component that you might want to think about when setting policies for full time workers versus hourly employees or contract workers. If you provide employees with access to enterprise resources from their personal smartphones, do you have different guidelines for salaried vs. contract workers? If an hourly worker replies to a work email outside of their standard working hours, are you expected to pay them for working? Or are you expected to pay them overtime?

There are no clear boundaries in the mobile life. That’s why setting clear, concise policies around mobility can’t be a ‘one size fits all’; exercise. We’ll continue to discuss this as we dive into mobility governance and policy setting in more detail.

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      Author's profile photo Kumud Singh
      Kumud Singh
      Hi there,

      I so much agree with the message of this blog.
      With many changes coming we might have something positive for overtime working people.


      Author's profile photo Faisal Iqbal
      Faisal Iqbal
      I'm on my annual vacations now but, being an IT person, get used to be connected most of the time; checking mails each after an hour and I think its not healthy but........... a question mark? Why most in IT perform the same?
      Author's profile photo Milja Gillespie
      Milja Gillespie
      Blog Post Author
      Faisal - I'm curious if it is just IT people who do this or if it has become more pervasive.  My thought is that it goes well beyond people in the IT industry - and will continue to grow over time. Perhaps eventually even the nurses will be checking on patient status from their mobile phones while they are on vacation.