As you know, I’ve recently moved to OggaDoon from my previous company based in London. What initially attracted me to OggaDoon was both the size of the company and the flexibility on offer; it was miles away, literally and figuratively, from my previous company which encouraged an ‘always on-call’ culture.
‘Can You Just…’: The Epidemic of Being Always On Call
I previously worked as the Marketing Manager for a digital recruitment company, where the recruiters work 10 hour days, glued to LinkedIn, emails and their phones. What was most surprising, and a little disheartening, was that I was expected to keep the same hours and be glued to my inbox. As a digital marketer it is my role to have an affinity and attachment to technology, but outside of work hours I keep my social media and mobile phone use to a minimum.
Alarm bells rang when I was asked to download WhatsApp and join the company group chat as part of my role, and when I joined I soon realised the extent to which almost all conversations in WhatsApp were, for want of a better word, irrelevant.
1. Hundreds of messaged exchanged between midnight and 4am on the weekends
2. Personal social photos which automatically saved to my phone (thank you WhatsApp)
3. Completely missing important, work-related questions because of constant conversations happening everyday
4. Inappropriate jokes masked as banter.
This story really sparked debate in the OggaDoon office where we unanimously agreed that being always connected to work leads to burn out. However, a part of me feels that it’s my duty to be on-call and checking work conversations in case I miss anything important because this attitude was drilled into me during my first major job after university.
Although there is a part of me that has no issue with checking Slack outside of work hours, even if I’m on holiday . For me, when checking work-related ‘stuff’ is on my terms, it doesn’t feel like work because I’m checking it because I want to, not because I have to.
Let me give you an example. Imagine being sat by the swimming pool, pina colada in one hand, sun beating down on you then your phone pings: the analytics report from the latest AdWords campaign you put together comes through… Do you:
a) Read it when you get back to work alongside all the other stuff you have to catch up on
b) Read it at a leisurely pace while sipping your pina colada and thinking about how lucky you are that you didn’t have to do it yourself.
Ok….those might be pretty biased answers, but for me, I’d much rather just catch up on it in my own time than add it to the mountain of things I have to do when I get back. All in all though, during a normal working week all work communications should be kept between normal working hours in my opinion. No one should be having to mute notifications or check their phones for anything to do with work unless they are working an event.
I think it’s both unreasonable and unhealthy for employers or employees to be ‘on-call’ and any work done outside of work hours should be compensated with overtime pay or holiday. Any work platforms such as Slack, WhatsApp etc. should be used for work conversation only while chit chat is moved to a different conversations, even if you want to keep it in Slack or WhatsApp. Let’s avoid the blurring of lines between work and social, and prevent important work messages being missed.
But that’s just my opinion. What do you think? Join the conversation on Twitter using #oggadoondebate.
OggaDoon offers flexibility and a friendly working environment where everyone gets to know one another on a personal and professional level. Company culture and finding the right people is extremely important to us. If you think you’d be a great fit for OggaDoon why not stay connected with us through our LinkedIn and look out for our latest opportunities.