Crackberry’ health warning

Business owners can't switch off from work

Employees’ ability to work as a team and managers’ work life balance are both being threatened as a result of mobile working, small firms are being warned.

A recent loss of web connectivity experienced by Blackberry users in America caused many business owners and managers severe stress.

This has led psychologist Professor Graham Jones to dub the tool the ‘Crackberry’, and to warn managers that mobile working can have its pitfalls.

“The virtual office has indeed revolutionised the way we do business,” said Jones, “but what about the unwanted side effects when the line between business and pleasure becomes blurred?

“Managers may have the luxury of being able to manage their workload whenever wherever, but increasingly they’re losing their grip on a healthy work life balance.”

The phenomenon of mobile working means many managers are never away from their ‘desks’, raising fears for their health.

In addition, recent research from The Work Foundation has found that 30% of Britons are failing to take their annual leave entitlement and it is because they are too busy.

Professor Jones said that managers must set an example of sensible working practices by leaving on time and taking their holidays.

This would also mean their teams are more likely to be able to work without them, he said.

“People working in teams and sharing responsibilities means that roles do not become person-dependent. The guarantee is you’ll return to work revitalised and when faced with a sink or swim situation, your employees will thrive when they realise the results they can achieve in your absence when they think like a team.”

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2007

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