For many, “it’s crazy at work” has become their normal. But why so crazy?
At the root is an onslaught of physical and virtual real-time distractions slicing work days into a series of fleeting work moments.
Tie that together with a trend of over-collaboration, plus an unhealthy obsession with growth at any cost, and you’ve got the building blocks for an anxious, crazy mess.
It’s no wonder people are working longer, earlier, later, on weekends, and whenever they have a spare moment. People can’t get work done at work anymore.
Signal v. Noise
I love 37signals, now Basecamp, and still reference Rework frequently. Now they are back to address the insanity that has become the American workplace in The Calm Company.
We believe Work Can Wait is an important notion. 9pm on Friday night is not work time. 6am on Wednesday morning is not work time. It may be for you, but it’s not for me. And I don’t want it to be work time for my employees either.
Every user on Basecamp 3 starts with a default work time from 8am to 6pm in their own time zone. People are free to change it, of course, but we think it’s important to encourage Work Can Wait rather than default everyone’s notifications on 24/7/365.
We hope more products offer similar abilities to shut themselves off when work is over. “You can get ahold of me about work whenever” will eventually lead to “I don’t want to work here anymore”.
Here’s to early mornings, evenings, and weekends being free from work. Work Can Wait.
Good Lord. This has been one of my biggest greivances with our culture over the last decade. From my second job chewing me out for not bringing a laptop and an Internet connect with me to a Christmas party while on vacation, to a young gal at my job at a start-up chewing me out for not receiving email over the weekend about a meeting at 7am on a Monday being cancelled. I don’t set up company email on my phone or iPad. If I’m not working, I’m not available.
Unfortunately, software has encouraged this practice of always being on. Over the weekend I had to silence Slack notifications because I was receiving notifications on a Saturday while preparing for one of my best friend’s weddings. While I am working, I want these notifications, but not when I’m with friends and family. Now Basecamp is going to support this. Let’s hope this becomes a trend.
The fact that employees are now always reachable eliminates what was once a natural barrier of sorts, the idea that work was something that happened during office hours or at the physical office. With no limits, work becomes like a football game where the whistle is never blown.