Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Why do enterprise architects continue to lie about work/life balance?
Bet you didn't know that I refuse to carry a cell phone! I have figured out that there is nothing more dangerous to balance than the desire to stay connected. Why would someone want to be reachable outside of work? Being reachable can only result in someone asking you to do something which distorts work/life balance.
The notion of rationalization is discussed by many enterprise architects where the goal is to eliminate redundancies. Do you think that having multiple ways of reaching you is a good thing? Should you rationalize your own communications strategy? What if you reduced the ways that folks could reach you down to simply sending email? Try it and I bet you will start to see an interesting pattern emerge.
You may find that your productivity improves as it eliminates waste. For example, if I talk to someone, the conversation tends to last longer than if someone emails me the same exact question. It also causes others to respect your time in that they will get more efficient in the way questions are asked allowing for answers to be provided more directed.
The one thing I am noodling is a class action lawsuit against every employer in America. By being connected and having the expectation of having to respond to work, a court of law may conclude that most enterprises are putting themselves at risk when it comes to HR and what constitutes overtime at a minimum.
Do enterprise architects find it intriguing that much of open source occurs without the need to hear the human voice. Have you ever observed Richard Stallman renting out a Civic Center and attempting to schedule lots of folks to hear the wisdom at the same time? If it has been proven time and time again that high quality mission critical working software can be constructed without the need for meetings, why can't enterprises figure out how to leverage the learnings of open source?
Anyway, try turning off your cell phone for one day and see if life improves. You may discover something you forgot that is wonderful...
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