Akika says: Abolish technological slavery

By Geisha Bar

Hands up if you’re still on the clock when you’re not at work.

Hands up if you constantly get non-urgent but still work-related text messages or emails from your boss outside of work hours.

Hands up if you’re sick of it.

27 years ago, a wonderful thing happened to us – the invention of the World Wide Web. Steamrolling afterwards came the rise of the mobile phone (which would now no longer be a tool reserved only for harried businessmen in suits, but instead something that parents give their three year olds to play with in order to shut them up).

We have well and truly reached the age of 24/7 contactability – and most of your employers are subtly using this against you, eking out every last second of free emotional and mental labour they can from you.

I had a retail job awhile ago that stated that I was to be able to answer my phone at all times. AT ALL TIMES. For a retail job! (Why!?) I used to get stressed out about the fact that I might be having a day out with friends at a music festival and be well off my face, and have to deal with a call from work. I have friends who receive text messages from their employers at all hours, and when you are sitting there having dinner and a great conversation with a friend, it’s saddening to see their face line with stress for a few minutes while they try and fend off their boss’ intrusion into the life they work so damn hard to afford in the first place.

I firmly believe that unless you are incredibly important and very well-compensated for the hassle, outside of the working hours that we are specifically paid for, we should not make ourselves available to employers around the clock. I’ve found that setting the expectation from the get-go helps, by breezily responding to their query as to your first unanswered text/email with “oh I hardly ever have technology on me outside of work hours.” Then they have no choice but to either demand that you do (in which case you immediately begin negotiating for a payrise/perks for your extra “on-call” time), or they must back down and accept that you are not going to be at their beck and call constantly.

We only get one life and spending half of it worried or stressed about work WHEN YOU ARE NOT EVEN BEING PAID TO BE is a huuuuge waste of your time and happiness.
Just because we are a generation of technology and connectivity, doesn’t mean that we should be expected to give up our time for free. Life already sucks for our generation, so take all the happiness you can get!

Love, Akika xoxoxooxox