Finding the balance in a 24-hour culture
If you believe the article ‘The fraught culture of always-on (& burnt out)’ in the Q3 issue of Influence, the CIPR’s member magazine, then you’ll think I’m not getting much sleep.
If the article had cited my desperation to finish reading The Girl on the Train before it comes out in the cinema, then it might be right.
However, the piece shone a spotlight on the ‘always-on’ culture – a culture which has grown exponentially thanks to the all-encompassing presence of social media.
Monitoring the ever-increasing array of social media platforms often falls on the shoulders of younger employees, according to author of the article Christian Koch.
While it’s true that myself and my fellow recent PR graduates are managing Twitter and Facebook feeds, I’m not “tweeting at midnight”, nor am I “rising at 6am to correct Hootsuite howlers”.
As a PR account executive at Harris, four months out of university, and at the start of my career, I feel lucky not to be experiencing the same work-induced anxieties as my fatigued, stressed-out 20-something peers.
I attribute my evasion of the vicious cycle which Koch describes, to Harris’ commitment to employee wellbeing, something touched on within the article.
Yes, I take work home with me through having work email on my phone, along with our clients’ social media accounts, but it’s not all work and no play!
Once a week I undertake a HIIT class with the team. Once a month we settle down in the photography studio to watch a film after work and it’s just a matter of time before someone suggests a fish and chip Friday lunch (I’m looking at you, Neil).
Ultimately I think that it’s the culture at Harris that prevents us all from getting bogged down and willing to put in the extra hours needed in the social media age.
Just as well, really – I’ve got a book to finish, after all.