Thursday, 2 August 2012

Look who is with us always?

I was at my favorite hang out place, one which reminds me of my womanhood. Makes me complete. A place I am addicted to an extend that nobody can stop me from visiting it at least once a month. Don’t let your thoughts go any further for towards the end of month I have to be at Hyper city to replenish my already exhausted kitchen cabinets. Looking at the well managed value chain of the retail outlet I could only appreciate technology and be thankful to be born in this era. An age of 3G, where items are not stone’s throw but ‘finger tip’ away. A generation where ring tone is no longer limited to ‘tring tring’ but has varieties like ‘sheela ki jawani’ and ‘shaalu ke nakare’.

I kept checking out aisles as per my long list when somebody just said, “Is that you, Rakshita”. I turned and saw an old friend smiling at me, "Neha. wow!! Where have you been.Its been ages yaar”.I said all in a flow.  “Ya, you haven’t changed much though, how have u bee all these years”, she said responding to her Blackberry messenger first. We had a great time over a coffee apart from her phone being the only disturbance. Looking closely I realized she looked little more that age or may be she was overworked. Why not juggling between home, kids and demanding office is not a joke. Sometimes I feel these gizmos make us work more than we would have done without them. Gone are the days of 9 to 5 jobs now we practically work 24*7.

“Hey we need to wind up dinner by 9, have a call at 9:30 tonight”, my husband said on his way back from office. Not sure who to blame for this erratic work schedule, MNC culture or so called employee friendly ‘work from home’ policy. Interesting enough, looking deep inside, such policies are pain in disguise. As much flexibility one gets from them more and more it traps you in vicious cycle of timelessness. Office is never over; at least it’s always on your mind. I still remember when on a vacation he was taking a conference call while we kept waiting for him to finish.

This probably is the dark side of the technology which many of us have never paid much heed to. As technology became omnipresent, techno stress too came as a package. Now as it is advancing from 2G to 3G, we are becoming more and more obsessed with the electronic leech. Organizations are utilizing it in most effective manner to stay connected with the employees and providing them work flexibility. But like everything, this too comes with a cost. There is no fixed time to work and nor there is a limitation. Socio economic environment too has compelled people towards rat race where everybody is trying to achieve the most out of them. Hardly noticing how the technology has not just consumed us but even our time. We have started enjoying being connected from wherever we are and physical presence has been replaced by virtual. A great cost saving for companies it must be, but in long run we are compromising on human bonding which for ages has been responsible for building great organizations.

With changing time techno stress will lead to many social issues like family and health problems. Supporting more and more sedentary life style and ease of work, techno stress will lead to many lifestyle diseases. Gadgets if have given us flexibility then have damaged our day to day ergonomics. Finding youth suffering with back aches, over weight, high blood pressure in not new anymore. Every coin has two sides and we can’t ignore any and though 3G age has been a blessing in its own way but given the circumstances and advancements, techno stress will be a dominant part of our work lives in coming future.

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