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Modern technology and the four-hour week

The good thing about technology is that you can work from anywhere. The bad thing about technology is that you can work from anywhere. I am writing this while in Spain, trying not to work. But it is hard to ignore the calls on the mobile, the SMS, the emails, the tweets and ‘pokes’. I was born in the 1960s, so I remember DOS, Commodore 64, mobile phones the size of bricks and a thing called a ‘letter’.

The Future of Work

In The Shift, the Future of Work is Already There, author Lynda Gratton reminisces about the days you would come into the office at 9am, start by opening your letters and take the day from there. You would finish at 5pm and the rest of the day would be your own. There was no BlackBerry, laptop or iPhone winking at you at night or over breakfast. So, is technology a good or a bad thing? One of our contributors posted that question on the Small Business Can forum. Here are some statistics from the post.

Young professionals, particularly those aged under 35, say they are more relaxed knowing they can stay connected with colleagues. They can put out fires that develop while they are away and keep down the workload waiting for them when they are back at the desk. As for bringing our technology on holiday, 78 per cent of these young professionals claim they would never consider going without.

Never switch off

When I was business development director with Oak Tree Press, we were once asked to write a book (you know, the thing before Kindle) about work/life balance for entrepreneurs. We could not see it, and I think it is even harder now. Not only for entrepreneurs – who by nature never switch off (excuse the pun) – but for everyone. If used properly, technology can work to your advantage. I suggest you read The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris.

Technology and automation can free your time to do other things and work on the business – not in the business. This is the Holy Grail for every entrepreneur – the cash register in your business going cha-ching while you are hanging in a hammock in Spain, cycling the Alps or trekking in the Himalayas.

Let us know what you think about technology, work, holidays and working on your business. Visit and see if we can write ‘Work-Life Balance for Entrepreneurs’ collectively. Coming to your Kindle soon.

Ron Immink is co-founder of Small Business Can