Being a Libran I could be accused of being indicisive – but I’m not so sure! One of the numerous balancing acts we try to achieve is that of a traditional pub environment which accomodates the demands of today’s lifestyles.
The two key issues are mobiles and Wi-Fi.
Mobile phones were easy to ‘ban’ for three reasons:
- Fines will help boost charity funds.
- The noises and loud voices would be out of place in our small bar. (For everyone’s privacy, etc.)
- Often they encourage behaviour which many would consider ‘rude’.
So, we ask people to manage their mobiles, rather than allowing the phone to manage them. Reasonable compromise, I believe, and now well supported by the regulars.
Wi-Fi rasies the next question. With the help of regulars (to whom I am very grateful) we now have the facility to offer. But does that contradict the mobile phone restrictions? Certainly we want to help our regulars where we can, but do we want them tapping away at computers on the bar? Probably not. One of life’s little mysteries and time for a sensible balance to be found.
If the mobiles are still being managed – that’s fine. I think using laptops etc, during the day for mini business meetings is OK, as that hardly causes any inconvenience or excess noise for others. Running loud presentations would be out of place, though.
In more traditional times, the office or workplace was where we did our computing and business communicating, then went down the pub when off- duty. Now, clearly, those lines are distinctly blurred. Regulars ‘work’ from the bar (not necessarily drinking alcohol of course), remain ‘on-call’ for business or family, and their physical location is less important than it used to be, as long as they are contactable.
Is this a key element of ‘work-life balance’? Certainly, since buying into the pub lifestlye, I have a much better understanding of the issue, as events and activities fall into a grey area – oh, that’s my life! I’m writing this on my ‘evening off’ – am I working, or enjoying my hobby of computing and communicating…?
I can’t decide. But I’m happy with that.
Mobiles and portable computers, etc, have given us the freedom to work anywhere – or is that everywhere? Maybe it’s the management bit that’s key.