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Is Cell Phone Technology Changing the Workplace Environment?

This is a guest post by Shannen about if the Cell Phone technology changes working enveronment. That’s an outdated question. The workplace environment was changed twice by mobile phones already – the first time, when they were first invented and marketed in a big way; and the second time when they were connected to the Internet. Modern cell phone reviews abound with talk about connectivity and business functions: and of course the modern office is full of people multitasking, sending email on their iFly while they design a cover spread on their MacBook Pro. The business world is owned by mobile technology in all its forms.

So how has the business world changed as a result? The most obvious changes are in location and speed. When email came in, the business world sped up exponentially; when faster email came in it got even quicker; and now you can send and receive emails on your smartphone, you are basically expected to have sorted all your correspondence and already done a good hour’s work on your way in on the train (the answer to that one, people, is to walk or cycle – you stay fit and you can’t use your phone if you want to survive without being creamed by a bus!).

Work is now done wherever you are, whenever it needs to be done. The modern office doesn’t really exist as a physical location any more. Instead its boundaries are defined by phones, laptops, tablets and mobile phone signals. Wherever that invisible beam of connectivity goes, your office goes too.

Cell phone reviews place a high premium on the connectivity capabilities of your mobile device. Note that we no longer really talk about phones – at least not in a business sense anyway. The cell phone is now a mobile device, which is one step away from coming straight out and calling it like it is – an office in your pocket. For the terminally attached to their jobs, this is ideal. You can even upload reports while you’re on holiday!

A word of caution is of course embedded in this post. Cell phone reviews might well go on about how you can work on the go, and send in presentations from the Bahamas and so on – but let’s face it, if you really did work on holiday you’d end up crazier than a bag of cats. The smartphone is a wonderful device when you use it as it was intended – to help you work when you want to. Not when you use it to work all the time. I actually know people whose spouses or partners have banned Blackberries from being turned on in the evening, quite rightly, because a person with an active Blackberry is a person who has not stopped working.

The office environment has changed thanks to the mobile phone – big time. And like every other technological development in the history of humankind, we’ve gotten the wrong end of the stick.

We use our smart phones to work at all hours of the day and night and wonder why we are burned out, stressed and insomniac. Here’s a clue: using your pocket office 24/7 is abusing its capabilities. If Blackberries were guns, everyone you know would be dead. Use smartphones sensibly and your own office can be controlled, by you. Doesn’t that sound nice?


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