When we were kids, usually our parents were done with work at 5 or 6. That was it. Oh, how things have changed! I mean, here I am, at 9:30 pm. doing something for work, on my laptop, at home. It used to be, that most folks who worked a full-time job, worked a 9-5 or 9-6, and then they were done for the day. Then came technology. It is a blessing and a curse, isn't it? How many of us truly stop working--as in never look at work emails in off-hours, stop worrying about or planning for or thinking about work projects during our off hours. And if we are honest, most businesses expect us to be available whenever. Can you imagine *not* answering a call from work or your boss because it was not 'working hours'?
I am listening to my husband deal with some stuff at his job that has required some handling--and last night it went on until 11:00. His mom was kind of astounded that he was still working. It is twofold, really: if the work still demands it, it needs to get done, and times really have changed. Even with the employment market the way it is--with people being able to ask to work from home, have more flexible schedules, be better at work-life balance--it really comes down to the fact that we seldom unplug.
When you go on vacation, do you normally set your email to Out of Office? I do not--it feels too weird, like I will miss something important. (Now, that may just be some inflated sense of self, seeing as half of my emails seem to be pitches for interviews I would never put on KVET and the rest are for sales at Old Navy!) I think that I have done the OOO setting when I have been in the hospital. Otherwise, no matter where I am, no matter whether I am on vacation or not, I check my work email, and I think that is the culture we are living in. Technology has made us so accessible--which is hugely efficient and terrific for work and collaboration. It is not as good for relaxing...
Think back to our parents and grandparents. My grandparents were a bit unusual, in that my grandmas all worked (kind of different for the time). One worked in a bank and then later was a mini-mogul making crafts and candy. My other grandma was a high school teacher and then had two women's dress shops. Either way, they were home making dinner for their husbands and taking care of kids.
When I was a kid, my mom and stepdad had a typical, eat dinner together, as a family, that mom made, after dad came home from work existence. There was very little working in the off-hours or weekends that I remember, at all. Now the trick will be getting my offspring to do any work at all. They have grown up with so much technology, that they have not had to ever go look anything up in a book or really even experience anything--they just watch a video about it on YouTube or look it up on Wikipedia. I have rambled in this blog post. Probably because it is after hours and I need to go to bed. Ha!