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Unpaid Electronic Labour – Why Not Just Do A Real Job Instead?

For all that Mazzucato whines Jobs really did start this off

An interesting little window into the whingeing classes here. The complaint is that the workers, the proletariat, are oppressed by the bosses sending them an email out of hours. Therefore Big Beneficent Bureaucracy must save the peasants from this helotry.

To which there’s a useful answer – why not go get a real job instead?

In 1886, factory workers in the US campaigning for an eight-hour day rallied around the slogan “Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, and eight hours for what we will”. Today digital devices have eroded these hard-fought distinctions. The right to disconnect – which is simply the right for employees not to be contacted outside of office hours by their boss – largely speaks for itself. It’s an idea that could have profound effects on people working in occupations where a phone has become an electronic leash that employers can pull at any time. Putting an end to the toxic expectations of connectedness would allow us to reclaim the mental space to enjoy our evenings and weekends.

A real job being where you actually do something other than faff about with emails of course.

There’s no point in harassing a nurse out of hours – they’re not standing by a patient that needs something, are they? No horny handed son of the soil gets so oppressed as it’s necessary to be next to an animal, or plant, to get anything done. The absence from a factory and some tin that can be bashed means the manufacturing peon can’t be pulled in by mere electronic whispers.

But if your life is spent planning the next diversity meeting then sure, pfaff over the airwaves can indeed be an extension of that working day.

That is, the very fact that an email can be work is evidence that the job you’re doing isn’t a job it’s indoor relief for the dimmer members of the upper middle classes.

At which point who cares, eh?

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jgh
jgh
1 year ago

a) why have they given their boss their personal email address?
if not then b) why are they voluntarility chosing to remote into their work email from home?

The Mole
The Mole
1 year ago

I don’t mind what hour of the day my boss sends me an email, afterall its up to them when they want to work, and they may well be in a different timezone.

What I would mind if my boss is requiring me to answer out of work hours – its my personal choice if I chose to read and then respond our of hours.

bloke in spain
bloke in spain
1 year ago

Worth noting. These are also the people who insist on bringing their personal lives into the office. So one’s supposed to respect their sex ( either making allowances for it, ignoring it or both at the same time), ethnicity (see above) gender (whatever they choose it to be + see above), politics (safe spaces + see above) dress size (+see above)dietary choice (+see above) religion…
Look, the people who do proper jobs are getting on quite nicely on their own. Why would you want to foist this bunchacvnts on them?

Spike
Spike
1 year ago

What is “toxic” is that many jobs (and all jobs in politics) assume that the company’s goal is your highest value. The “not real” job of getting a computer to behave, before the competing company gets its own to do so, occasionally leads to impromptu overtime from salaried programmers, the “good” employers springing for pizzas. Everyone is aware of the announced launch date and expected not to moan about being “oppressed.” By the way, if a storm is coming that will wreck the harvest, farmers work overtime too.

Bloke on M4
Bloke on M4
1 year ago

Money Never Sleeps. You want to be little people, ignore that email.

John B
John B
1 year ago

An email only has any effect if read. Email apps have filters, so incoming mail can be sorted. Work related emails can therefore be segregated from other emails and placed in the ‘Work Inbox’ to be read in work-hours.

So the solution to the alleged problem has existed for several years.

Bloke in North Dorset
Bloke in North Dorset
1 year ago

It never bothered me and I was usually happy to answer emails whenever and wherever I was, even on holiday.

The other side of that coin was that nobody complained when I went off to the gym at lunchtime for a couple of hours, or disappeared to do some child minding duties or took days off in lieu when it suited me.

Too many people expect the best of both worlds from their employers.

Pcar
Pcar
1 year ago

Haven’t France banned out of hours emails & calls?

Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
1 year ago
Reply to  Pcar

While visiting the network control centre of our head office in Paris (a multinational financial services player), they suffered a major network outage, losing most of their thousands of branch offices across France. But this was Friday afternoon and at 5pm all the operators simply downed tools and went home. As their manager explained to me: “Nobody does any work at the weekend. We’ll fix it on Monday morning”.

Un-be-liev-able.

Daedalus
Daedalus
1 year ago

In my last job I was expected to be on call 24 hours a day 365/6 days a year. If they couldn’t get hold of me for whatever reason, questions would be raised at the morning production meeting. The worst was one weekend were I probably had 10 calls each day and ended up going back to site twice, 45 minutes each way. After ‘words’ with my gaffer I left the company in November, still trying to find another job. There is a shortage of experienced Engineering Managers and they wonder why.

Snarkus
Snarkus
1 year ago

not done IT work for a USA based hell have you ? And yes, I changed jobs

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