Is the Mobile Blurring Work-Life Boundaries?

Originally and in full posted as “How is the mobile blurring work-life boundaries (or not) here

I loved Maine Pyaar Kiya and Pigeon Letters

I can’t stop thinking of Salman Khan and Bhagyashree at times. And the white pigeons. Like multiple other Indian writers hell-bent on proving how ABC movie destroyed our generation, I am amazed at how regressive the movie seems now. Even without generalizing and claiming its mass impact. At this point: is it true that Bhagyashree only wanted to work with husband Himalaya as her hero, and refused films with other actors?

//Hmm. Me: I refuse to work with other men apart from my husband. Husband: Babe I don’t think you should work in the same office. Hmm.//

Was it okay even in 1989? Man goes to work, woman sends him the letters through the pigeon. The bad girl wearing a skirt (not the salwar kameez or yellow saree) never sends out a letter but uses modern wired phone technology. A letter has more real feelings and impact. Yet there’s nothing to prove that a Snapchat snap is any less emotion friendly compared to the ink dipped word carried by the pigeon, no matter what I personally prefer.

Sophisticated technology devices like Mobiles scare people

This even though, I had to explain what “snail mail” meant to an office colleague. Recently there’s a flurry of new research about whether Mobiles are making us work more and blurring work-life boundaries. The Sage group‘s research is particularly interesting because it seems like the developed Western European markets feel this overworked aspect while the developing markets find the mobile to be a positive addition to the work AND life. My heart is clearly more developing. And since we all love attributing emotions to technology, I wonder if that’s also just a mere oversimplification.

On that note: Does Facebook Make Us Unhappy?

Fun fact 1.1: Mobiles are making people in Western Europe feel overworked. 
Fun fact 1.2 : Mobiles are making people in developing markets feel positive


More from CNBC research:

“This new wave of global research reveals that the Business Elite are consuming more business content over the weekend. Mobile is blurring the boundaries between work and leisure, as the consumption of business content over the weekend becomes commonplace…”- Mike Jeanes, Director of Research, EMEA at CNBC 

Is the Mobile Blurring Work-Life Boundaries

Do the business elite we work more due to mobile devices?

Answer: We are consuming a LOT more. 500 million Whatsapp images get shared everyday. Although, most media consumption happens in office hours. That does not say much about our productivity during the day though. Are Western European professionals only just fashionably inclined towards denouncing mobiles (like all other technologies before that)?

Questions to ask the self

  • Is the Cat more interesting than my project?
  • Why am I distracted at work?
  • Do I like my job?

In particular, research from the University of Bergen is quite enlightening, especially for all the managers who want to ban social media networks at work (and many do that anyway).


Fun fact 1.3: Managers hate private social media usage by employees
Fun fact 1.4 : Top Managers use social media for private usage the most


Who are the worse offenders of wasting time in office (and still complaining they are overworked)?

Fun fact 1.5 : Ideal user of private social media at work: Highly educated, single men who are extroverts and also a little nervous


At least now you know who NOT to hire 😛 

Why are business elites you taking work home on mobiles?

Jokes apart, the point is why are you taking work home- even on a mobile?

  • you’re wasting too much time at work and have to meet deadlines
  • your project manager completely underestimated work and you ARE overworked. Or the project had some disaster unplanned time wastage
  • you are unable to say NO
  • you have no life to protect anyway
  • you love your work and are happy to take it home


Oh, and I do have ideas on why there’s such a difference between developing markets and Western Europe, it’s on the link above. But in short, many of us in developing countries want to be seen as people with ideas and opinions not just a statistical number in a voting register. Many of those already upwardly mobile, faced poor internet speeds and Mobile Internet  came to the rescue more often than not. Perhaps our position in the hierarchy of needs was also different. The majority sub-30 working population in India, for instance, is positive and already immersed in digital experiences via Mobiles. Blurring is not a concept relevant to an audience that leapfrogged their way into the domain. The older Western Europeans not used to Sunday shopping and 30 days of paid vacations, have a completely different cultural mechanism.

And since I am not at work at this exact moment, I can officially Wikipedia Bhagyashree now, on my mobile, while sending love letters to the husband on the side.

Is the mobile blurring work-life boundaries for you? 🙂