Schools out, and it’s wind down office holiday season. As I prepare to leave the B2B technology PR world behind and head off for my two-week holiday, on my packing list is my smart phone and iPad, so I can continue to access my emails while I’m away. It’s not because I’m so important that the office will collapse in my absence, it’s actually for more selfish reasons. I have a tidy mind and I like my inbox in the same state. If that means reviewing and answering urgent or appropriate questions for ten to fifteen minutes each day while lying on the beach sipping a cocktail, so be it.
For some the thought of checking emails while on holiday fills them with horror and in some cases resentment. Not so me. I’ve always felt that there is something much more manageable about keeping on top of emails so I don’t return to 1000s that take me three unproductive days to clear.
Interestingly Dave Coplin, chief envisioning officer (whatever one of those is) at Microsoft UK has released a new book entitled Business Reimagined: Why work isn’t working and what you can do about it. In the book Coplin argues that we’ve become trapped by technology rather than freed up by it to work anywhere.
He cites email as an example of the problem. In an interview with the BBC, Coplin argues we use email for everything, rather than pick up the phone, say, or using other collaborative applications. This, he says, stifles both productivity and creativity… We’ve become trapped by the need to check our email at weekends, evenings, at the school play, at the supermarket, wherever we are.
While I agree that email has a time and a place, I don’t agree that I’m trapped by it. What do you think? Am I constrained or liberated by it? My biggest worry is keeping the sand out of my USB drive ;).