BlackBerry: handy help or free-time killer?

A new study has discovered that many business managers have a love/hate relationship with the BlackBerry device.

The finding arises from interviews conducted by university researchers with 30 bank executives in Australia and France about their relationships with their BlackBerrys.

Some interviewees said they loved the mobile email devices because they enable them to get through their email on the way to work or in the taxi to the airport, allowing them to “hit the ground running” when they arrive.

Others, while acknowledging the productivity gain the gizmos afford, expressed doubts about whether it is worth the loss of personal time. “I don’t read anymore on the way to or from work,” one exec said, while others described their BlackBerry as a “Trojan horse” that allowed work to infiltrate their entire lives.

The University of Sydney’s Katherine Dery, the lead researcher on the study, says businesses need to wake up to the burn-out risk for employees who are “always on”.

“There is a real problem for organisations where stress, burn-out and addiction to ‘CrackBerries’ are real threats to the long term talent retention and organisational effectiveness. Management needs to think about how to harness the benefits of BlackBerrys, increasing productivity and efficiency, while minimising their downsides,” Dery says.



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