Oh, and let’s not forget the connectivity issues. Everyone must receive work emails on their phones or home computers. So, you are working long after you leave work, on weekends, on holidays, on vacations, and on sick leave. This is not optional anymore. A woman who works for one of my clients took a week of vacation but was expected to monitor and deal with emails as necessary. She received 65 emails in two days. Simply monitoring 65 emails takes a great deal of time and she actually had to respond to many of them. She came back to work after just two days because it was too difficult trying to deal with work issues from her vacation spot . I know many people who don’t take off more than two days at a time because they pay a tremendous price if they do — returning to work 12 and 14 hour days to get caught up. There used to be more cross-training and coverage when someone took vacation or sick leave. Now you are expected to continue working from the beach or your sick bed or the hospital. A paralegal I work with had major surgery this month and was dealing with emails the next day from his hospital bed and has spent the first 4 weeks of his 6 week doctor-ordered recuperation period working from his home computer and coming into the office for two 3-hour days each week. He is not a workaholic by nature. This was what was demanded of him. Even though his employer knew three weeks in advance that he was having surgery, no provisions were made to have his desk covered. Why? Because no one cares anymore. Yeah, there are manual laborers, factory and agricultural workers, and others who have it worse. I am not comparing office workers to farmer laborers who toil from sunrise to sunset in sweltering heat. I am saying that what was once standard employee benefits, pay, and treatment in professional offices is a thing of the past.

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I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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