Too many mobiles?

2008

Technology isn't always the life saver that some of us hoped it would be. Perhaps, I'm just getting old and don't have the same perspective as the young upstart just getting out of university, ready to taken on the corporate world. Or, perhaps I'm just someone who enjoys being accessible during the work day and not afterwards.

Simply translated, I'm not glad to see that mobile phones are outselling desk phones for the workplace.

Don't get me wrong, I love a mobile phone as much as the next guy. They're practical, they keep me entertained on the subway, and they can provide information almost instantly these days – especially if you've got a smartphone. However, there are some negatives involved. For example, the batteries tend to die quickly. The reception can be quite horrible, especially if you have thick walls in the office. They are easily lost or stolen.

However, the biggest reason that I don't want to have a mobile phone over a desk phone at the office is this: you're not getting my mobile number. See, my private life is mine to enjoy or to squander as I see fit. Since I have a private mobile phone, I can refuse my managers or colleagues the number when they get insistent.

When I have to use an office mobile phone, I can't justify refusing the number (if it isn't already shared in the company directory). This means that you are perpetually in the office and on call. Turn off the mobile, fine, and you're safe. However, perhaps your manager expects you to be easily accessible whenever, wherever.

However, cellular technology isn't a bad thing. Companies are quickly replacing standard phone systems with more modern VOIP-enabled mobile phones. This means chewing up bandwidth instead of phone bills. Long-distance and international calling become more easily accessible for companies, especially if they are trying to establish an international presence.

Keep an eye out on technology. While lots of it is excellent and truly enhances the quality of our lives, they can also open up other unintended cans of worms.