Tom Offringa

I do front end magic at Devhouse Spindle, compose music as 50% of xyce and work as a freelance WordPress developer.

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Latest note

Don’t mix work and pleasure

One of the things I remember people saying when I was young was to not mix work and pleasure. I can imagine this philosophy for sure although it seems a bit outdated today.

I was wondering about this yesterday when I was checking my phone, I’ve got Slack installed on my phone, which I only use for work-related matters. My phone-addiction certainly leads to checking work-related stuff during non-office hours as well. With our social life on the internet so embedded in our daily workflow, most people that work with computers, tend to check their personal profiles like Twitter/Facebook, etc. as well, just as doing a quick private call in between or anything like that.

I guess in contradiction to how it used to be where you went to work, did your thing for 8 hours, got home and did your private stuff, it is so much intertwined, that it’s even hard to NOT have them all together at some point during the day.

I don’t think I’m a supporter of the philosophy to keep work and pleasure seperated, but I’m wondering if those that are, are fully able to still keep them seperated in this day and age. I don’t know differently, because the entire span of my working life involved mobile phones etc, so work and pleasure were always mixed at some degree.

I think most people working with computers on a daily life are growing towards letting go more, keeping work-related matters off their mobile phone, don’t check Slack or mail on your phone, if something REALLY important is happening, it’ll reach you by regular phone or text any way.

On the other hand because our technology is such a big part of our life, it’s easier to mix in private stuff during office-hours as well, which compensates the work-related stuff you do or read at home at night, in some way. I guess you could relate this to productivity as well. Are we more productive, energized or inspired if we can somehow let go of work for a couple of minutes to continue after? Or was pushing people to work the full 8 hours in a row better for both the boss as the employee? Were people able to let go of work more easily back then, which resulted in a more productive day after?

Could we say growing towards this attitude may be the new ‘don’t mix work and pleasure’? Where the philosophy is more based upon our technology than on actual people? Because working on our computers and having computer-related hobbys automatically makes the border between work and pleasure somewhat vague, which makes it pretty hard to keep them seperated, even if you wanted to. I’m not unhappy about the way this works for me, although I sometimes wonder how it would be the other way.

How are you guys thinking about this? Does it effect productivity in any way? Does it increase or decreases stress?