The Fading Border Between Private and Work Life – more freedom or more availability?


The border between our private and work lives is being progressively eliminated. The laptop which we take home or to the airport gives us both flexibly and portably our customers and employers demand. More and more company cultures have an indirect requirement of 24/7 availability from the time you first sign-out your laptop. If one does not respond to email questions in that time they are not considered to be “on” and perhaps not right for the company – “It does not matter how good you are if you do not share our values. When we hired you we did not hire 90% of you”! –Lars Ingerlsev/Head of Talent Solutions, LinkedIn Nordics. Or “The border between your professional life and your private life is becoming less. Sharing and being transparent is crucial. It is not about what you have done, but what you want to do what you want to achieve with us”. – Sam Rihani/Head of Marketing Solutions, Facebook Nordics.


Dress codes have changed to become looser, just as we have become more connected and generally more accessible. Not even on the weekend. Facebook and Instagram photos are no longer considered private. Bosses “Add” their employees or expect employees to “add” their bosses. Both “Poke”, “like” one another and therefore illustrate the ways in which they are active in each other’s lives, and that the boundary between private life and work is increasingly blurred.


Many IT companies are currently fighting to pamper their employees so much that they see their workplace as their playground, family and even closest care givers. Many call or Facebook their colleagues when things happen in the same way they previously called their friends. When working 24/7 one does not have the time to find new friends outsid

e of work causing the gap between work and private life to blur even further. For example, take this article from the Swedish newspaper “Veckans Affärer” (written in Swedish): Techjättarna tävlar i jobbförmåner – här är de värsta.


What happens when the line between work and private life become blurred? What happens to the former great truth that we all need balance in life more than anything else in order to feel that happy balance between the self, home and work? Now that the boundaries between the self, work and home have blurred, the big question is whether freedom and flexibility have actually become larger or is it so simple that employers today require more i.e. all or nothing – ‘all in’? The trend is clear but is it right or wrong? What do you think? Is it more freedom or more imbalance? What are the pros and cons?