Saturday, February 27, 2010

How the world of work has invaded the private sphere

One example is the way many companies give their employees free mobile phones and computers, purportedly to help them work. In reality, it is so they can take their work with them.

That is the starting point for the conflict between the individual who gives orders and the body that obeys […] If the body is pushed too hard, it breaks like a machine that’s been asked to do too much.

It’s uplifting to read someone else in the media who shares your own opinions, especially about a problem that has hardly been publicly recognised as a problem.

Over a decade ago I first noticed this new feature of work life creeping quietly into outside work time on trains in Japan, a country where use and misuse of technology is often quick to happen. It was startling to me in the late 1990’s to see phones and computers so obviously being used to “extend worker productivity.”

(*Sidi Mohamed Barkat, an Algerian-born philosopher, professor and researcher at the Department of Ergonomics and Human Ecology at the Sorbonne, in France, quoted from a recent speech at CCCB, the Barcelona Centre for Contemporary Culture, entitled “The Future of Labour.” [From an article by J.M. Martí Font in El País.])

No comments: