Earlier this week, I was discussing social media and crisis management with some friends. In hindsight, some well-known situations blew up over a weekend, leaving companies to respond on Monday morning (e.g. Motrin, Tim Horton’s).
Many of us agreed that we are more deeply engaged with social media on weekends, being quite occupied with higher priority work during weekdays. But as consumers expect to engage with brands around the clock, all week long, we may need to start rethinking how we work. This is what social business requires.
It seems timely to rehash parts of a post I wrote last November, called “Working backwards to the future“:
Henry Ford who first implemented the five-day work week in 1922, so that workers could not only recover from work, but also have time to purchase goods. Now, it appears that Ford has another opportunity to transform the world of work by trying to save itself in the process. Social technologies and today’s “always on” culture will certainly need to be factored into the transformation of U.S. automakers – and will eventually impact the way all industries function. I wonder if this means we’ll return to six- and seven-day work weeks…if we’re not there already. I imagine more telecommuting, microslicing of days, greater use of social technologies for business. These seem to be the hallmarks of the “information revolution” to follow the industrial revolution.
In the U.S., most workers have been employed for the past 80 years under a mental model of working five days a week, eight hours a day. Working outside of those limits tends to create dissonance with the concept of work-life balance. Most white-collar workers regularly put in more time, but use the old standard to gauge how much extra effort they’re contributing. Today, social technology allows us to always be on and toggle quickly between work and personal activities. We don’t work in big chunks of 5 vs. 2 days or within a block between 8 am and 5 pm anymore – we work and live our lives in much more finely sliced segments.
Strangely enough, the cadence of our work seems to resemble life before the industrial revolution, albeit with a much higher standard of living. And I’m not sure if things are getting better or worse.
I wondered earlier this week if you (and your employees) should be paid to participate in social media. You contributed great thinking in the comments. Today’s Saturday – are you working right now?