telecommuting and the neverending workday

One of the themes in my course on workplace flexibility is the need to push back against corporate demands for a 24/7/365 workload. Doctors carry pagers, managers carry laptops and cellphones. How do they fight back when their coworkers or bosses seem to expect them to be available constantly?

There's a good blog entry at Web Worker Daily on 5 ways to get work under control. They are the basic tips, of course, and yet not practiced by many.

During my recent medical leave, I was off the computer entirely for about 10 days, and then checking email only intermittently for another few weeks. I was amazed by how much new time opened up in my day! In particular, about 40 percent of my email could be deleted unread if it was more than 48 hours old. So now that I have returned to health, I have resolved not to chase after the ephemeral, the seemingly-urgent, or the request-of-the-moment. I now check email only once I day (or at most, twice) -- and never after dinner.

While it is wonderful to have the flexibility that carrying my new laptop anywhere allows, it is important to use that flexibility to my benefit as well as my employer's.

Anyone who needs me more urgently knows my cellphone number. (And I do turn that one off, sometimes, too!)

So, how do others manage against the neverending workday?

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