Time after time we have written, also in this blog, that we are living in the “all and now” era. A dynamic that is not only common among the Millennials, but among all ages (some more, some less): we are, in short, used to wanting immediate solutions to our problems and instant answers to our questions. Solutions that, naturally, work to perfection and are increasingly cheaper. And this applies to more or less to all reference sectors.
The thing is, when we say “everything and immediately” what we really mean is “everyone and immediately”.
Let me explain. Have you noticed, just as an example, the huge increase in business cards that indicate a mobile phone number alongside the landline number? So why does this happen ?
There is no doubt that the number of people using smart phones has increased over time. The rates are much lower and smart-working is more frequent. It all makes sense but, in my opinion, the key factor is another.
Our occupational era is moving slowly towards accommodating the “I need to find you whenever I need you” concept.
It doesn’t matter if I interrupt whatever you are doing, regardless of your job or position. It doesn’t matter if your work day finished some time ago. And it doesn’t matter if you are busy with other people. If I need to speak to you, I have to be able to reach you immediately.
So, if on the one hand we have someone who “has to find us immediately when his or her need us, on the other hand we are under the pressure of having to make sure we are reachable when someone needs us”.
Am I wrong?
It is a dynamic that, to be honest, I find rather dangerous and, obviously slightly disrespectful.
I don’t dispute the fact that new technologies provide precious opportunities which, even just a few years ago, would have been imaginable. I have to say, though, that the time and spaces of others should be respected more than it is at present. And this applies to both the working environment and the time we dedicate to our personal life.
And, on this latter aspect, I would like to add that, if we don’t have the ability to separate our work life from our personal life, there is the risk of reaching a point of no return. Also because, all too often, we are subjected to decidedly high levels of stress so organizing our time and “switching off” when necessary is very important.
A minimum of flexibility is needed, without a doubt, but then we have to put in place some precise boundaries. Boundaries which, naturally, we must be able to respect and encourage others to do the same.