Technology & Work Life Balance

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Running Head: TECHNOLOGY AND WORK LIFE BALANCE1

Technology and Work Life Balance
Human Resource Perspectives on Work Life Balance
Course

Technology and Work Life Balance 2 Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………….3 OVERVIEW OF TELECOMMUTING…………………………………………………………4 BENEFITS……………………………………………………………………………………….5 CHALLENGES………………………………………………………………………………….6 CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………………………….7

Technology and Work Life Balance 3 INTRODUCTION
As technology has advanced over the years, and become a more prevalent aspect of both work and ‘non-work’ life, it has opened the door to obstacles and opportunities as it relates to work and family. Coupled with technological advances, we have seen many transformations from a social, demographic and work place perspective. Growing up in the 1970’s, I had a stay at home mom, and a father who worked outside of the home. My mom looked after my sister and I, and my father was the ‘breadwinner’. I recall my father being home weekday evenings after work, and every weekend. We participated as a family in many activities, and my father’s work never seemed to spill over into our family time. There were no computers at home, and cell phones were still a thing of the future. Work stayed at work and time at home was spent on personal lives. Fast forward to 2012. My life with a full time career, husband who works full time outside of the home, three children, and two dogs, is a very different story. In addition, technology has exploded, with computers at home that allow access to work, and BlackBerries that allow 24/7 contact with work. I have selected the topic of technology and work life balance, as it impacts me directly in my roles of mother and career woman. The chance to further explore the challenges and opportunities presented by technology is selfish, as I hope to uncover some secrets to work life balance as it relates to families (including mine)!

Technology and Work Life Balance 4 OVERVIEW OF TELECOMMUTING
Telecommuting is the term we see used today for bringing work home, also referred to as remote work, off-site work, or working-at-a-distance. Baruch (2001), referred to these terms as something you do, not someplace you go. This ‘anytime, anywhere’ work culture, has been emerging since the beginning of the 21st century (Van Horn & Storen, 2000). Telecommuting can take many forms, as organizations may offer a variety of options, such as full-time, part-time, informal, employee and employer initiated terms. Shifts in technology have been changing the way we do work and business, allowing for more flexibility in time spent at work, as we traditionally know it. In my current role, as a Human Resource Counselor, I have an informal option in place, that allows me to work remotely, including from home, on an as needed basis. The expectation is that I am generally working from the office; however, some of my duties take me to off-site locations, and occasionally I have family needs that need to be taken care of during working hours, whether planned or not. With a BlackBerry and a lap top, I can be away from the office, but still be connected to deal with issues as they arise. I should also note I support employees in a 7 day work environment, so the ability to be ‘on call’ is also important in the event of an emergency. In a more formal situation, organizations may have contracts in place that outline the arrangement, including days worked off-site, hours available, and frequency of contact. Some telecommuting arrangements are employer initiated, while others are employee initiated. Not all arrangements seem to work for all organizations and/or individuals, thus much of the ability to telecommute lies within the type of business and the type of individual involved. Although...
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