by Jill Vejnoska
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The line is blurring. High-tech gadgets help keep employees connected, but if we work at home and take care of errands at the office, can we ever really tune out?
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9 CONVENIENT LOCATIONS to serve you. Call 912-one-stop for the location nearest you. Savannah Bluffton Savannah Savannah Savannah 13015 Abercorn St. 25 Bluffton Rd. #605 7640 Abercorn St. 1407 Montgomery St. 2010 E. Victory Drive 912-920-7070 843-815-5855 912-354-1111 912-234-1105 912-495-0011 **Cingular also imposes the following charges: a Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee of up to $1.25 to help defray its costs incurred in complying with obligations and charges imposed by State Hinesville Hinesville and FederalRincon telecom regulation, a gross receipts surcharge, and State and Federal Universal Service charges. The Regulatory CostBeaufort Recovery Fee is not a tax or a government-required charge. 591 S. Columbia Ave. Suite C 537 W. Oglethorpe Hwy. 230 General Screven Way 41 C. Robert Small Pkwy. Limited-time offer. Other conditions and restrictions apply. See contract and rate plan brochure for details. Up to $36 activation fee applies. Phone price and availability may vary by 912-826-2441 912-408-0011 912-408-0111 843-379-0011 market. FamilyTalk: $18 activation fee per line for 2 or more FamilyTalk lines. Phone Return Policy/Early Termination Fee: No early termination fee if service cancelled within 30 days of **Cingular also imposes charges: Regulatory Costapplicable Recovery parts Fee ofofupINtoand $1.25 to helpprorated defray its incurred with obligations and charges by State purchase; thereafter, in FL,the GA,following SC, NC, KY, TN, MS,aLA, AL, NY, and NJ, $240 overcosts the length ofinthecomplying service agreement; elsewhere, $150 flatimposed rate. Independent and Federal telecom regulation, a gross receipts surcharge, and State and Federal Universal Service charges. The Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee is not a tax or a government-required charge. agents may impose additional equipment-related charges. Sales tax based on price of unactivated phone. Billing: Airtime and other measured usage are rounded up to the next Limited-time offer. Other conditions and restrictions apply. See contract and rate plan brochure for details. Up to $36 activation fee applies. Phone price and availability may vary by full minuteFamilyTalk: at the end$18 of each call forfeebilling purposes. Rebates: Allow 10–12 weeks for rebatePolicy/Early debit card Termination or account credit. Must betermination customer forfee30if consecutive days.within Must be market. activation per line for 2 or more FamilyTalk lines. Phone Return Fee: No early service cancelled 30 days of purchase; thereafter, GA,Guarantee:No SC, NC, KY, TN, cancellation MS, LA, AL, NY, applicable parts in of IN $240 prorated over theFamilyTalk length of the service agreement; elsewhere, $150 flatatrate. Independent postmarked by 6/8/05.in30FL,Day feeand if service cancelled firstand30NJ, days. FamilyTalk:$9.99 lines available with select plans starting $69.99. may impose additional equipment-related charges. Sales tax based on price of unactivated phone. Billing: Airtime and other measured usage are rounded up to the next Allagents on account share primary s allowances. Maximum 4 additional lines, for andrebate all lines must the same billing account. Allover: is not days. available fulllines minute at the end of each call line’ for billing purposes. Rebates:ofAllow 10–12 weeks debit cardbeoron account credit. Must be customer for Coverage 30 consecutive Mustinbeall postmarked by 6/8/05. 30 Day Guarantee: No cancellation service cancelled first 30 days. FamilyTalk: $9.99sFamilyTalk lines available with select planstostarting $69.99. areas. See coverage map at stores for details. More BarsfeeinifMore Places: Moreinbars claim compares Cingular’ network before to after merger. Mobile Mobile:atUnlimited All lines on account share primary line’s allowances. Maximum of 4 additional lines, and all lines must be on the same billing account. Allover: Coverage is not available in all nationwide mobile to mobile available with plans starting at $39.99 with one year agreement. Rollover Minutes: Unused anytime minutes expire after 12th billing period. Night areas. See coverage map at stores for details. More Bars in More Places: More bars claim compares Cingular’s network before to after merger. Mobile to Mobile: Unlimited nationwide to mobile available with do plans $39.99Cingular with oneWireless year agreement. Rollover Minutes: Unused anytime minutes expire after 12th billing period. Night and Weekendmobile and Mobile to Mobile Minutes notstarting roll over.at©2005 LLC. All rights reserved. and Weekend and Mobile to Mobile Minutes do not roll over. ©2005 Cingular Wireless LLC. All rights reserved. Connecting People and the phones are trademarks or registered trademarks of Nokia Corporation and or it’s affiliates.
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Not even the most sacrosanct or intimate of occasions is immune. “Technology makes me too available,” said Jeff Coble of Mableton, Ga., a management consultant. “Every time I drop my phone, I hope it breaks so I can be unreachable with plausible deniability. I even took my laptop with me on my honeymoon.” His dilemma is pervasive: A recent study released by the Families and Work Institute reported that one in three Americans is “chronically overworked.” Due in part to the access technology provides, one in three employees is in contact with work at least once a week outside of traditional office hours. The same study reported that more than one-third of employees had not and were not planning to take their full vacation time. Even what appears to be the most leisurely of job benefits — telecommuting — can make the difference between work and home indistinguishable. Kristie White of Palmetto became a mobile employee for IBM several months ago after spending seven years in the company’s Atlanta office. “Initially, I found myself working much more than usual, simply because I felt guilty about not physically going into the office,” White said. “I did that for about three months, and I was completely stressed out. Finally I realized that I had to set boundaries to stay healthy and to remain productive at home and work.” Cellphones are now being fashioned out of pens. Laptops and cellphones are merging. And prices are cooling, which means more consumers are buying — and soon no one will have an excuse to be out of the loop. The intrusion seems to be blamed for evaporating quality time away from work. But what about the time technology has zapped from productivity? Those casual, workday moments spent eyeing Web sites, sports scores and news? E-mailing friends, perhaps? This could be the payback. “Everybody shops at Amazon.com at work. Everyone checks their home email, pays bills. Now you can program your TiVo from the Internet,” said Christopher Null, editor of Mobile magazine. “If employers are expecting people to stay connected, they should be equally expected to give up that work time for personal activities.” ◗
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TERRY AND PAMELA SWANSON cozy up on the couch together to watch “American Idol” each week, a favorite way to decompress in this Suwanee, Ga., household. But it’s no respite. Side by side, the couple cuddle with their laptops, firing off emails, phoning clients and tinkering with real estate listings while rolling their eyes up to catch a glimpse of the competition. “Technology makes you think about your family while you’re at work and think about your work when you should be focusing on your family,” Terry Swanson said. “It’s the new American way.” This new culture is being embraced by countless Americans. Work and home are no longer distinct for many, but part of an amalgamated lifestyle that appears to have no limits. “We haven’t got to the point of going to bed with the laptop, but we’re not too far off,” said Terry Swanson. Spherion, a recruitment and staffing agency that operates more than 1,000 offices globally, recently completed a survey to glean the expectations of both employers and employees in regard to how connected workers are to the office. • Twenty-eight percent of those surveyed said their employer expects them to stay connected to the office outside of business hours. Fifty-three percent said no, while 19 percent offered a neutral response. • Twenty-six percent said that staying connected to the office via e-mail or cellphone interferes with their personal life. Forty-five said it doesn’t, while 29 percent were neutral. • Thirty-one percent of men and 23 percent of women said they were expected to stay connected to work outside of business hours. “Technology has had enormous impact,” said Richard Lamond, senior vice president for Spherion. “Work-life balance is the No. 1 career priority for the emerging worker. That balance is going to become more critical, and employers are going to have to pay heed to that.” With Ethernet ports emerging in every hotel room and Wi-Fi, or wireless fidelity, turning every coffee shop and grocery store into an online hub, any jaunt to the movie theater or a stroll down the sidewalk is a potential day at the office.