With how quickly technology turned tiny and hand-held, many people became trapped by their cellphones and blackberries; devices that were accomplishing what they were intended - too well. The problem that many professionals were, and still are, running into was determining how "connected" they should be.
The internet, cellphones, blackberries and laptops have revolutionized not only how we do work, but also how - and how often - we contact other people. This revolution has given rise to a great question regarding how often and when we should make ourselves available for communication to those we work with, and has seen proponents arise on both sides. The ensuing debate has become one most pressing to those of us working in the service market as we struggle to find a balance most amicable to our personal and professional lives.
The answer to this debate is simple, not easy, but simple. Ours is a service industry, and as connectedness becomes more and more the norm, those who we serve are going to demand the same from us. If you want your firm to succeed in the 21st century - the age of unparalleled communication - you need to make yourself available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For if you don't you will be left in the dust of the 9 to 5, watching as other attorney's offer full-time availability to their clients and reap the benefits.
For further thoughts regarding this subject, please check out this post titled: "Ball and Chain? Key to Freedom?" by Patrick J. Lamb. Patrick hits the issue right on the head: "Those who put clients in second place are going to find out that they don't have to worry about that problem any more."