You might think that skiing is one activity where people would leave their mobiles in their pocket, at least till they’re off piste. You would be wrong. On closer inspection many skiers are using the same ‘hands free’ technology you might use in a car – under their ski helmet!
In a technology enabled world it’s easy to be available 24/7 and in some organisations or areas it’s an expectation. Within public relations and communications arena it tends to go with the territory. In a recent PR Week feature, Ann-Marie Thompson, International Head of Media at the Entertainment Company Syco describes a quality she prizes in new recruits as “that they are contactable 24/7/365”. While Syco represents X Factor and a number of celebrity clients with global schedules is this really reasonable?
Senior managers in any organisation with a certain level of responsibility and authority should be contactable if necessary and let’s face it their salary generally reflects that. People who run their own business could be considered another justifiable group. Is it a reasonable expectation for new recruits? Has the culture within the communications industry to work more than your contracted number of hours become so standard, particularly within the private sector that we no longer bat an eyelid? Or maybe a culture shift can be attributed to the accessibility of mobile technology, because we can be contacted socially, we are therefore contactable. I wonder what Johnson and Scholes would say?