It has been said that people in the United Kingdom work more hours than people in any other Western European country. The EU’s working time directive means that employees can work a maximum of 48 hours per week – except in the UK and Malta. Here, an opt-out means that UK-based employees may work longer than 48 hours if they wish to do so, although employers cannot force them to work beyond this number. It may well be, then, that the UK is a nation of workaholics, and as technology continues to develop rapidly, customers can expect an expanding range of gadgets available to sustain exceptionally busy individuals. Here are a few essentials for those who simply cannot bear to leave the workplace behind.
The home office
Working from home is much more common these days, particularly for those in administrative positions, but also for those working in education, retail and other sectors. Of course, mobile technology has helped to make the transition from workplace to home frighteningly painless. Laptops and tablets are eminently portable, and smartphones continue to provide more and more extra features, including internet access and great communication. Workaholics who like to stay in control will find the best pay as you go SIM packages are absolutely essential, as they offer web access, texts and call minutes in convenient and inexpensive bundles.
When a dedicated space for work has been created at home, those who plan to spend long hours at a desk will most probably have already invested in a good quality office chair. One essential extra is a lumbar cushion or pad to provide improved back support. Even better, workaholics will have fun with a shiatsu lumbar massager – a gadget that provides support for the back, as well as gentle massage therapy for the long-term deskbound.
Data storage and backup
Cloud technology has made it far too easy to access shared information remotely, and no doubt many people who can’t resist checking up on what’s going on at work use it when they are technically on holiday. A good workaholic, on the other hand, may prefer to carry his or her personal data at all times – for these individuals, a portable USB drive is the only answer. The best gadgets are slim and elegant and will be able to store up to 500GB of data – more than enough for regular backups when working on the move.
Don’t write it off
With computers and smartphones taking care of so much in a busy working life, it might appear that the humble pen and paper is practically obsolete. Even in schools, electronic resources such as interactive whiteboards have all but replaced blackboards and chalk. A dream gadget for every workaholic, then, must surely be the smartpen. Once activated, this ingenious device records everything the user writes and hears, and can replay details when tapped on a written note. The smartpen can also transfer the recorded information to any number of compatible appliances, including laptops, tablets and smartphones.
There is no doubt that being a workaholic has never been so much technological fun.