Always-Connected, Tech Savvy -- and Happy?
You see them everywhere. You might even be one: mobile warriors with a BlackBerry, pager and cell phone arranged in matching holsters around their waists.
They're the folks racing through the airport while negotiating deals over their cell phones, and zipping through the crowds on the way to a connecting flight.
They're also the ones logged into the corporate network at all hours of the night when, by any sane measure, they should be sleeping.
They're hip, happening, connected and, according to a recent study by market research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) Intersearch, more likely to be dissatisfied with their jobs.
Statistics commissioned by The Conference Board illustrate that overall job satisfaction rates since 1995 have dropped from 60 percent to 50 percent. Of the 50 percent who are satisfied, only 14 percent claim to be "very satisfied" and 25 percent are only showing up to collect a paycheck.
One of the primary drivers of the job dissatisfaction rates cited in the study is rapid technological change.
It can lead to an always-connected conundrum, according to work researchers. The very technologies created during the heady early days of the dot-com boom to make our lives easier can become root causes for discontent.
It becomes a negative one when the worker feels that it's exceeding personally acceptable levels.
Executives also stress the importance of disconnecting, with policies designed to help employees unplug and unwind, such as quarterly company events away from the office.
So why isn't it so simple to just unplug in order to strike a balance? For some information junkies trying to do just that, there's another way. "It takes some discipline to just decide that for the next four hours I'm not going to answer the phone."