Screen Slaves all the rage! Lawyers among the worst?

law firm stressFrom BBC News 19/06/12:

People are risking their health by working on smartphones, tablets and laptops after they have left the office, according to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

God bless ‘em!

It says people have become "screen slaves" and are often working while commuting or after they get home.

The society said poor posture in these environments could lead to back and neck pain.

Oh come on - and all the rest! If my work just resulted in neck pain I’d be happy.

An online survey, of 2,010 office workers by the Society found that nearly two-thirds of those questioned continued working outside office hours.

And of those office workers, I’m guessing lawyers are amongst the worst for ‘workaholism’.

She said: "While doing a bit of extra work at home may seem like a good short-term fix, if it becomes a regular part of your evening routine then it can lead to problems such as back and neck pain, as well as stress-related illness.

Doing a bit of work at work leads to all that and more for me. The arm/shoulder of my ‘mousing’ arm tends to flare up badly from time to time, my stress levels are through the roof (nothing new there) and I find myself slouching permanently at my desk. I still fancy substituting my office chair for a fitball (a la Leo Laporte), but I don’t think my colleagues could cope with that sight.

I’m contemplating stepping my caffeine intake back up to compensate (can I get away with a 3rd coffee at work or will it push me over the edge?) and the results of our staggeringly frustrating open plan office gives me the utter squits on a daily basis. But hey – it’s all in the aid of efficient communication, so I can thank the sweet Lord for that.

I’m permanently stressed (a symptom of the modern age or so I’m told), email drives me nuts and I can no longer sit at table seats on trains (I find the cretins that invariably sit opposite me just freak me out too much!!). I’d rather stand quite frankly (albeit that invariably means being wedged between two smelly mo-fos in the vestibule usually right next to the toilet which stinks like like a stable that’d horrify an RSPCA inspector.

"Individuals who find themselves unable to leave their work in the office should talk to their managers and learn to switch off their smartphones."

If an individual can’t leave his work in the office, his manager’s not the right person to talk to; a therapist would be a far better option. ‘Leaving it at work’ is an excellent (albeit sometimes unrealistic) policy but one the western world rapidly needs to rediscover if society isn’t going to implode under the rapidly elongating workday. I have heard that some law firms make it a rule not to be seen sending emails in the evening (at least to the outside world). The best practise of law occurs during daylight hours apparently and working late into the evening smacks of desperation and unprofessionalism. I suppose an exception can be made if there’s a particular client that needs to be impressed (usually to help justify the, um, fees), but otherwise it’s a strictly colleague-only policy when it comes to evening emails.

But the fact that emails are being sent at all kind of underlines the problem.

Perhaps we’re all just doomed?

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