PRODUCTIVITY ON THE GO: FOR OR AGAINST PRIVACY?


Nokia N900 communicator/internet tablet
Image via Wikipedia

Proponents of business applications and mobile productivity will swear by their Blackberries and tell you how much time and money they have saved by having access to their emails and office applications on the go using enterprise business gadgets.

In a nutshell, a workjunkie does not have to open up his laptop to respond to an email, especially when as a decision maker a simple yes or no needs to promptly determine whether some millions will be spent or not.

In this world, time is always of the essence, as in any.

However, the voice against being seemlessly linked to the office grows louder day by day.

The resource meant to utilise information worker solutions wants time to himself, friends and family, and yearns for his privacy.

From my interactions, the preference veers towards learning to organise time to increase productivity and unified and healthy life, by allocation of very specific time frames with high concentration and focus on the activity therein.

Thus for example, 8 to 9 am is mails, 9 to 10 am is phone calls, 10 to 11am is one on ones, 11 to noon snail mails, lunch break 2pm to 3pm…etc etc.

The expected result of these silos is a focused, timely and centered approach and response to information, and appropriating proper response time.

My December holidays were eventful, and I was fortunate enough to travel and interact with people from varied areas of the business or enterprise ladder, but all who are users of Enterprise communication Devices and these were their opinions.

Steve, a server admin with a large ICT firm that deals with large accounts, got rid of his smart phone. I met Steve in a dingy local pub,he holds three dumb phones with three different carriers.

First, since he is a social person and loves to drink, his primary reason is that since he last lay down on the floor and cried after losing his I-phone in a bar, he decided that he would never spend that much money on a phone.

Secondly, he was tired of getting “urgent” emails from clients (who knew he was available on the corporate chat outside his work hours, and receiving emails from superiors asking him to “sort the client just this one time”. )

He decided his M.O would be to utilize dumb phones, once he knocks off, he turns the work lines off, and turns his play lines on.

Angelica, on the other hand, i met out in the wilderness hiking. She is a top PR Account Manager interviewed on Jeff Koinange‘s “The Bench”, among other high profile shows on television and radio. Being high society, what one is seen doing and who with is key. Having a smart phone is not only a tool of the trade, but is also a status symbol, a necessity in her field where impressions matter more than reality.

Yet she just got rid of her Blackberry. She holds the Safaricom solar dumb phone ( thereby still being chique and “eco-friendly”) But moreso, her main reason was seeking peace of mind. She said she kept chatting on multiple social networks keeping up wiht the glitterati, would be clients and posts of her high profile activities and keeping tabs on others, she hardly had time for anything else. ” My boyfriend hated me because we could hardly have dinner without me clicking away on the phone posting this or that…i think i developed a short attention span.” She allegedly could no longer sit somewhere and wait for someone or something without going online on the phone.

Andrew on the other hand just said he preferred sitting down to look at emails and answering them, instead of always being under pressure. for him it meant he would just plan his time better and respond to what was most important to him as a person, and not what the phone dictated.

A journalist by profession, he wanted one place untouched by the unified internet world, where the correspondence was limited to calls and text. The only linkage he wanted was weekends, when he would link his Nokia to the computer, and upload pictures taken during the week to social networks. In any case he lives on the laptop which, with the bigger screen provided a richer ,more dynamic experience. “The small screen and slower rendering speeds just do not make sense.”

With this growing tribe, I foresee less and less professional usage of smartphones by choice, except by those obligated to by their work places.

These are my two cents, and six from Andrew, Angelica and Steve… and as these are thrown into wishing wells the world over, we may see a decline in the intrusive usage of smartphone technology.

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