Alwyn Van Niekerk
Alwyn Van Niekerk

Simplifying the rat race through technology

Most of us live in it, and most of us hate it, no doubt about, but the rat race is an inevitable phase of life for anybody interested in advancing their career and “becoming somebody”.

The truth is that the rat race is bad for all of us. It’s not necessarily just the negative aspect of the innate materialism fuelled by the advertising industry and the money makers behind it who bring us the status-laden images of fast cars and beautiful women in designer clothes drinking designer drinks, but physically and mentally it takes a lot out of us. As the old adage goes, when all is left and gone, all you have left is your health.

Health-club membership must be on an all-time high in South Africa given the number of gyms popping up, and in some cases we even have two competing franchises in the same shopping complex, clearly an indicator of a booming industry.

Technological advances have luckily come a long way in helping us make life a bit more bearable. Many companies have embraced ADSL as an enabler to allow people to work from home, and a whole spat of productivity-enhancing collaboration tools have emerged to make the globe an even smaller village yet.

Management is still struggling to understand the productivity benefits of these new solutions, but as companies start outsourcing more and more work to offshore companies to overcome various local issues, they start seeing physical location as a non-issue and simply put more pressure on the in-house IT departments to deliver the underlying infrastructure to handle the new demands of a geographically disparate workforce.

If your company has adopted these technologies, tools and policies to allow you to work from home, then be sure to use them to your advantage. Get yourself set up at home, spare yourself the schlep of sitting in the life-shortening traffic and start spending more productive time at home while getting paid for it! How much more can you ask for? Just always remember to check if you’re in your underwear or not before you take that video conference call …