Perhaps the biggest sign yet of the change at hand comes from Germany, which has called for an “anti-stress regulation” that would, among other things, ban employers from contacting employees after hours. Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticized the law and stopped it from moving forward for now, but German leaders have long been concerned about the growing tendency for technology to allow work to encroach on employees’ private lives.
Along with global warming, the Ebola virus, and gridlock politics, this year, for me at least, something far less life- and society-threatening also spiraled out of control: email.
It was long ago invented as something to make us more productive. But what productivity expert would ever say that it’s a good thing that instead of working, we now “answer email?” Or that on some days, I am wary to leave my desk to head into a meeting because it means taking my finger off the dike and knowing I will return to a flood of boldfaced new messages waiting patiently for my total attention?
Some people strive for “inbox zero.” But like many people, I now get so much spam and unsolicited pitches that if I were to adopt such a goal, I would spend the entirety of every workday doing nothing but deleting emails. To keep up with this…
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