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Things are going to get easier, at least according to what I've been reading lately.
I just figured you'd want to know.
For the Economist magazine's 2015 prognostications edition, Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway predicts everyone - from millennials to older workers 'exhausted by the tyranny of technology” - will start ducking out of the office on time in the coming year. Holidays, she says, indeed 'will be holidays.”
Finishing the day's work within the allotted time frame, Kellaway optimistically reasons, will be an indication of being an efficient employee, not a laggard. The best companies - those that are better managed and less bureaucratic - will promote this 9-to-5-ish ethic as a valuable characteristic.
But wait: Buried within her column, Kellaway cites as part of her reasoning Parkinson's law - a premise that contends that work is elastic and will expand or contract so you achieve what you need to do.
If you consider that this 'law” was invented by an Economist magazine writer named Parkinson back in 1955 as a joke, supported by made-up scientific study, you might wonder if Kellaway is pulling our leg, too.
So we're not going to be having dinner on a regular basis with our families time soon? (What's that little kid's name again? Is she old enough for school yet?)
To add to this dismaying realization comes a new survey by Mailtime.com that contends more than half the respondents said they expect an answer to work emails with 24 hours. Twenty percent assume you'll get back to their emails within 12 hours.
But let's pause again. An entire day before we have to write back? That's not so terrible, if you think about it. Maybe we won't need that extra shot of caffeine by late afternoon.
Tomorrow, after all, to quote Scarlett O'Hara, is another day.
And here's more positive thinking for the New Year, from Gavin Pretor-Pinney, author and founder of something called the Cloud Appreciation Society. (He means the fluffy stuff in the sky, not computer networking - gosh, someone certainly does need a break.)
Pretor-Pinney suggests looking up at clouds can help keep your feet on the ground. Cloud gazing can be relaxing and spark our imagination - 'The big, white puffy one up there over the shopping center looks like the abominable snowman going to rob a bank,” he noted in a 2013 TED talk.
We are busier today than ever, he agreed during a Nov. 14 interview on NPR's TED Radio Hour. Stopping to examine clouds, which in fact are moving extremely fast but appear to us as calm and graceful, can anchor us in the present.
And that albeit brief bit of meditation, Pretor-Pinney and most work-life balance experts tell us, is good for us.
'It's good for your ideas, it's good for your creativity, it's good for your soul,” he said.
I say we all start contemplating how we'll spend that extra slice of daylight we're going to get back in 2015. After all, there's lots of blue sky in Iowa.
We should start incorporating some of it into our philosophy, even we do stick around the office past 5 from time to time.
OK, 6. No later than 7 ...
' Michael Chevy Castranova is enterprise editor and Sunday business editor of The Gazette. (319) 398-5873; firstname.lastname@example.org