Office Gadgets Are The Workaholic’s Fetish

Office Gadgets Are The Workaholic’s Fetish

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By Allan Bisset

The office, I’ve decided, is where most of us spend our time – up to one-third of it on any given day. Whether working for a company or from home, most people do seem to do most of their productive work (especially in Internet marketing) at a desk.  It’s been said that we tend not to value our office space enough or show it the recognition it deserves, given how much time we spend in it!  Normally people have no problem with buying gadgets for the home, but how many would even think of buying things for their working environment?

Work Inspired

Sleep tight, lazy worker!

Maybe it depends on national characteristics — otherwise known as stereotypes — and varies from country to country.  After all, most office gadgets are designed in Asia, where they are introduced to the market first.  Could that fact be connected to Asians having the reputation of being gadget fanatics and notorious workaholics?  According to the OECD the biggest workaholics in the world are the South Koreans with 2,357 hours each spent working while in the UK people work 1,669 hours on average. Greece is the European country where people work the most (yeah, I know – go figure!)  with an average of 2,150 hours annually.[1]

The ones who work the least apparently are the Dutch (yeah I know – could have guessed that!)  with  just 1,391 hours. The South Koreans spend a whole month more at work compared to the British and a month and a half more compared with the Dutch.  Mind you, it’s also worth mentioning that in many Asian countries people work 7 days a week!

Gadget Culture

Office gadget culture in Europe and the US is changing though, as more and more people are told they must embrace their working environment in which they spend so much of their lives. And to reinforce that view that “working is good for you”, scientists at the University of California of all places suggest that eight hours’ sleep (long said to be the ideal length of time under the duvet each night) could actually shorten your life!   Their research apparently showed a clear association between long duration sleep and high mortality rates.[2]

Anyhow, the cheerfully and willingly exploited masochistic workaholic is now convinced that the work environment should be fun, fun, fun!   So we now have twee versions of pens, staplers and highly amusing pencil sharpeners. Technology has enabled new levels of invention resulting in classics like the USB powered air conditioned shirt (I kid you not) where an in-built fan blows fresh air right into the shirt which is available in just the one size – XL naturally!   My personal favourite is the bacon-flavoured envelope.  When you lick the adhesive, you get the taste of bacon rather than dead cats.    Now we can cut right down on the sleep, get in early and do much more work while having breakfast at our desks too!

Given that Margaret Thatcher famously managed to function on just four hours’ sleep a night, on reflection I think I’d rather take the risk on those extra couple of hours in the land of Nod![3]  You may also assume that I won’t be buying any office gadgets anytime soon!

Author Information

Allan Bisset works in Internet marketing and insists on at least eight hours sleep per day otherwise he will commence an injury compensation claim against any employer.

Resources

[1] Clemson University: Health Care Never Takes A Vacation

[2] University of California: Sleep Less, Live Longer?

[3] BBC News: Less Sleep May Cure Tiredness

Photo Credit: Michael Lorenzo

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Categories: Career Planning

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