May Day aka International Labour Day dates back to the mid 1800s when countless laborers across nations would protest and strike for an 8-hour work day (often met with extreme violence)
Today we take the 8-hour work day for granted
We also used to live with arguably clearer defined boundaries between work and home. However with the introduction of the iPhone, app stores, unlimited data plans, and the gig economy…
not to mention a global pandemic that thrust several billion folks to lean hard on zoom for all work and personal related social exchanges…
I think it’s fair to state that we don’t have a work / life balance anymore.
We are glued to our devices, working from home, intent to answer emails within 70 seconds and waking up with our 📱 by our pillows having notifications for / before / with breakfast.
Beltane (historically celebrated on May 1st) is an ancient Celtic medieval demarcation between spring and summer, a fertility festival of springtime optimism, inviting folk to appease the fairies, feast, throw bonfires, revel in merriment…
Maybe it’s time for us so-called modern folk to pause — rethink our strategy of absolute tech dependence.
I’m not suggesting we torch all our devices and relocate off-grid to the Scottish highlands...
What I am suggesting is that it is possible that we enact a tech / life balance that works for us as individuals, families, coworkers, and communities.
Our tech today shows us that while it’s difficult to live without it, we can do the work to be in better relationship to it.
Let’s start by taking the cue of International Workers Day to demand more tech / life and work / life balance for ourselves and each other.
This system as it’s currently designed has relied heavily on our discomfort with uncertainty during the pandemic and ensuing permacrisis…
They encourage us to keep working, keep hustling, keep productivity up, and at what cost?
The well-being of ourselves, our families, our children, our neighbors, our communities, and our societies are at stake.
France, in 2017, passed a “right to disconnect” law prohibiting employers from sending / requesting work related requests passed a certain hour. Read about that here.
Belgium just passed its “right to disconnect” law for government workers. Read about that here.
Let’s be honest, The USA isn’t Europe so we have to start seeding this idea of a “right to disconnect” “a right to a tech / life balance” within our companies, organizations, institutions, and communities. No matter the size, enterprise or startup….
Workers have the right to disconnect and humans have the right to a work / life balance to take care of our other pertinent needs.
Start talking about it with your coworkers, with your superiors, and with your friends.
Start a slack channel about it, start an email thread, it has to start somewhere.
Consider the snowball effect.
I coach remote teams on how to enact and maintain a tech / life balance.
Message me for auto-responder ideas, coaching requests, and other recommendations.