Are you driven or stuck on overdrive? Check out where you fall on the spectrum of a survey that finds 41 percent of high tech managers are workaholics.
Among just those in electronics, 30 percent said their biggest source of stress is the volume of their workload, ahead of deadline and office politics (tied for second at 16 percent). I routinely tell people in my 20+ years watching this industry I have never seen as much going on in as many diverse areas at this level of complexity and moving this fast. It’s a 24/7/365 fire hose.
It’s a mixed bag when it comes to whether the technology itself helps or hinders the technologist.
Eighty-seven percent of electronics managers said it enables them to work smarter and get more done in less time and be more flexible with their schedules. But 40 percent said technology hurts their work/life balance because they are always accessible, and 35 percent said that creates a burden on their free time.
Indeed thanks to my iPhone and ThinkPad and the wide availability of cellular and Wi-Fi links I can work almost anywhere, anytime. Sometimes that’s a great thing, other times not so much.
At the end of the day, people in the overall survey seemed more happier than they did a year ago. Fifty-three percent of women and 50 percent of men said they are satisfied with their jobs and not looking for new opportunities, compared to 43 percent of women and 41 percent of men in Accenture's 2012 research.
How about you? Are you looking for a new job? A Workaholics Anonymous meeting? Or just the gumption to turn off the smartphone and go for a nice long walk?
Frank makes a good point. While I work more than the 8.5 hours a day an earlier poster mentioned, I also mostly choose my hours and can hang out with the kids in the morning or afternoon before/after going in to work at weird times for global telephone meetings. So you have to measure the overall lifestyle and flexibility, not just when and how much people work.
I think the best companies will allow for people to work their 8 hour days and not be penalized. At the same time, companies should reward people who perform at a higher level and do more. Often this means putting in much more time. I also think that it's fair that a person should not expect to rise through the ranks working only 8 hours/day. That is essentially doing the minimum.
That's pretty much the way I operate too. Conference calls and even webex are easy to do from home or elsewhere, for that matter, and I take advantage of that too.
All the more reason to wonder how long I would stay at Yahoo, if I were one of those unfortunate employees. My question on that score being, if there were telecommuters who didn't perform, why punish the entire company? Just let the bad apples go.
I seldom leave work completely alone either during the weekend, at night, on vacation, etc. My company happens to have a very flexible policy towards telecommuting and I don't often notice the extra hours I put in.
I'd say my job never ends but that'd be misleading: it ends when I want it to end. As long as certain deadlines are met and I'm available to answer other designer's questions, there's really no time I "have" to work. The flip side that I put in whatever's necessary to get the job done.
I'd say that's a good trade-off. I'd like to think most engineers aren't trading time for pay; they're trading complete pieces of work for pay.
The most surprising thing about this is that 100% of those surveyed did not to some work on weekends and/or evenings. I can't think of a private sector job where that would not be the case!
There is another thing here, it is not necessarily about being a workaholic, but about being quality of product. It has generally been pride that has driven me. Pride in the quality of what I put out, whether product, process, management, etc.
I really don't consider having 2-3 evening conference calls per month with international colleagues to be a big deal. For the most part, my company is 8-5:30 give or take 30 minutes depending on the person, plus the random conference calls with Asian or European partners. We are lab-centric and are actually forbidden from being in the labs after hours or on weekends for safety reasons.