Why Forcing Employees To Unplug Will Never Work In America

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Some companies are actually forcing employees to unplug once they leave the office.Among the more prominent is Volkswagen, which has programmed its Blackberry servers to not send emails during off-shift hours.

While the “unplugging” ethos is a noble enterprise — one with which we are intimately familiar — it could never happen here.

For one thing, parts of the U.S. are nowhere close to crossing the connection-anxiety threshold, as the New York Times’ Steven Kurutz demonstrated in a piece about a town in rural Pennsylvania desperately seeking WiFi . After travelling to Renovo, Pa. to complete a book, Kurutz says having the choice to unplug is a luxury.

But there’s a dirty secret about Americans’ connectivity addiction. We enjoy it.

In one of the Times’ most extensive probes of our wired life, Dockers’ director of global consumer marketing says that constant connectivity makes us feel important. 

“I love my job,” says Karen Riley-Grant. “The decision to plug in or unplug is a personal one. My job is fast-paced and demanding. If I’m not paying attention during the off-hours, things could go south.”

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