Is technology at that point where we just don't know how to stop working anymore? It seems as time moves on that it's becoming increasingly harder to disconnect from the office.

Recently, I made a rare appearance with Steve Trevelise producing his show for him while also joining in on the conversation. One of the topics that evening was about how, in 2022, we don't know how to disconnect from our jobs anymore.

With cell phones now the gateway to everything we do, is it possible to turn yourself off from work and enjoy a day off? It was fascinating to talk with many of you about that, especially with those who were off from the long holiday weekend, only to still find themselves working.

So here we are a few days later from that evening, and I just witnessed this very thing happening. But not so much of being stuck working on a day off, but where this work conversation took place.

But before I dive into it, I want to first ask you this very question. With the technology we have now, do you find it hard to disconnect from work?

It's interesting to see how many of us in New Jersey are able to disconnect from our jobs when we're off, and how many remain connected in a world that makes it hard to turn our brains off from work.

But even if we're on the clock, some of us are finding it hard to disconnect in places we shouldn't be conducting business. That's what I just experienced while conducting some of my work at Bell Works.

Bell Works in Holmdel (courtesy Bell Works)
Bell Works in Holmdel (courtesy Bell Works)

Bell Works is the former home of Bell Labs in Holmdel, NJ. It's now a place geared for work life as well as other fun activities. Ever since I learned of it, I come here quite frequently to write many of the articles you read, like this one.

Well, on this particular visit, I experienced something that proves the point that we don't know how to stop working or conducting business. And this one went a little beyond knowing when to stop.

North Carolina Clashes With U.S. Over New Public Restroom Law
Getty Images

While washing my hands in one of the facility's public bathrooms, I could hear a gentleman talking very loudly on his phone. He was talking about some sort of financial deal, but I don't know anything beyond that.

Eventually, this guy entered the bathroom and entered one of the stalls while still having his loud phone conversation.

Public toilet and Bathroom interior with wash basin and toilet room.
Khotcharak Siriwong

And here's where it gets a little gross. You can hear him going in the john while still talking loudly on the phone. Absolutely rude and disgusting.

And can you imagine what that was like for the person on the other end of the line? Whatever deal this guy was trying to make with whoever was on the other end I hope never went through.

A bathroom stall (Henryk Sadura, ThinkStock)
A bathroom stall (ThinkStock)

Yes, I know we commonly call the bathroom the office, and we joke about conducting business in there. But this person apparently didn't seem to care to separate the two.

My encounter in the restroom when he entered was brief, but also obnoxious. And being our lives are consumed by cell phones, do we even realize it when we do something like that?

Close-up of cell phone call button (Jupiterimages, ThinkStock)
Jupiterimages, ThinkStock

You can clearly tell it was a work-related conversation, but it's not something any of us need to hear when we go to the restroom. Even more so, I'm certain none of your coworkers, clients, or potential customers want to hear you doing your own personal business while on the phone with them.

So to whoever this person was, please learn to hang it up. I don't care if you were discussing a one million dollar deal or not, you don't carry on while going to the bathroom. Especially in a public place.

Mobile phone portable battery recharging a smartphone

But that also brings us back to the main point. Are we so invested in our devices that we're now incapable to know how and when to stop working?

Whether it's a cell phone, tablet, laptop, or work-from-home situation, technology nowadays is turning us more and more into workaholics whether we realize it or not.

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