Michel Syrett, work-life balance consultant and consultant, told the
employers’ Law/Rowe & Maw Briefing that increasing use of e-mail and the
Internet are causing employees to overwork. We asked delegates whether it was a
problem in their companies.
HR officer, National Autistic Society
"Most of our staff are care-based so they don’t have access to the
network but for staff who do have access I think there is a huge issue about
the management of e-mail. There is an expectation that if they e-mail you
they’ll get an instant reply. I think it’s an issue that needs to be managed
and isn’t managed at all."
Development and training manager, Manchester Metropolitan University
"I think there is an issue there but it’s not something that has really
hit us yet. We get people that e-mail one another from 20 yards along a
corridor and that’s a bigger risk than it intruding on home life because it
actually stops people from talking face to face."
Corporate services manager, Capital Software
"I think being contactable is expected so I don’t think it’s causing a
problem. I also think that it is down to the individual to manage it."
Personnel officer, NACAB
"I think it is an issue that there’s too much dependency on e-mail.
There is a response rate. People want to immediately reply to the e-mail that
they’ve been sent. I’m not quite sure whether asking them to switch off would
work because it’s something which is difficult to control."
Chief welfare officer, Ofsted
"Ofsted is making more use of new technology. There’s going to be a
large proportion of homeworkers by the end of the year so we need to make sure
it’s not going to turn into a problem."