Glassdoor, the jobs and career community puts technology in the crosshairs as one of the contributing factors to a decline in its report: Top 25 Companies for Work-Life Balance. I wrote about this over at Forbes pointing to the obvious: that we may be on the brink of Digital Exuberance.
As technology was a contributing factor to the decline in work-life balance I asked Glassdoor to weigh in on the digital conundrum. Glassdoor’s Samantha Zupan told me in an on-line interview that the greatest impediment to work-life balance is not necessarily the technology, but the individual’s behavior. Here’s a taste of what she had to say.
JUDY: What metrics or anecdotes demonstrated that technology concerns are impacting work life balance?
SAMANTHA: According to Pew Research, nearly 3 in 5 (58%) cell phone owners say that their phone operates on a smartphone platform common to the U.S. market. It’s no surprise to see how the lines between work life and personal life can increasingly blur. When we head to the office, our phones are with us. We can speak to family, research where we are going to dinner or check Facebook. And vice versa, when we head home, we can get emails from co-workers, follow news that impacts our business and take calls from our boss.
JUDY: In your opinion, is the use of technology the greatest impediment to WLB?
SAMANTHA: The greatest impediment to work-life balance is not necessarily technology, but rather the individual themselves. Before you take a job, you need to take into account what a healthy work-life balance means to you. Are you willing to work more than 40 hours a week? Do you need certain flexibility in your schedule to care for a family member? Do you set hours when you will respond to work emails or take work phone calls after work hours?
JUDY: Why do you think Tech companies dominate the list?
SAMANTHA: One of the possible reasons is that tech companies often promote a healthy work-life balance when recruiting. For example, tech employees at companies on this list speak frequently about a flexible schedule, which can mean not working during traditional working hours but instead at times that work for the employee.
JUDY: As the economy allegedly improves, do you think there will be more of an imperative to offer employees better tools to manage their work-life merge?
SAMANTHA: We are living in a Glassdoor world in which workplace transparency is quickly becoming the norm. Due to wariness caused by the recession, job seekers are increasingly looking for more information to make better career decisions and find a company that’s a better fit for their lifestyle. As a result, we will likely see more employers strengthen their offering to employees, which can include increased focus on a healthy work-life balance.
JUDY: Did you notice that stress management of any kind played a role in a better work life balance? Was work stress a factor in the survey or was it mentioned?
SAMANTHA: While stress management may not have been referenced specifically, some of the factors positively impacting employees’ work-life balance are a flexible schedule, a manageable workload and a manager who understands that employees have a life outside of work.
Do you think we should be unplugging more often? Is technology to blame for poor work life balance?
Please continue the conversation at Twitter with me @JudyMartin8. Also check out the recent discussion on this launched at TalentCulture.com Catch us on #Tchat at 7pm on Wednesday evenings. And check out my recent related article at Huffington Post, Taking a Digital Break in the Work-LIfe Merge.