In the life of human beings, work plays an important role. In the present scenario, where unpredictability and fast-paced business is the talk of the town, it is certainly not easy to attain work life balance. As per Perrons 2017, with increasing connectivity through social media and technology, it is becoming added difficulty in separating work from the personal lives of employees. It has become a commonplace to check on the emails at all hours, taking calls for business at the dinner table, and working from the laptops on the weekends.
Employers have started expecting more out of their employees, which is often driving the people into pressurized corners for attaining bigger results. Consequently, this has often lead to working for longer hours and spending less time at home. It is for the employers or the business leaders to feel responsible in helping their team or people juggle the demands of their work process and the personal lives, as the most efficient of employees might still be lingering around to find exact work-life balance (Hubbard 2016).
Technological App in Work/Life Balance:
However, the concept of work/life balance is going for a massive change: work and home life are not considered as two split entities, positioning the competing demands on the resources of human beings, though enduring distinct in terms of location and time. According to Freeburg et al. (2014), as an alternative, the term ‘work/life merge’ has been coined currently in trendy culture for describing the liquefying of the boundaries existing between the work lives to that of homes. This merging of two worlds has only been possible by the entrance of the mobile technologies and the portable Wi-Fi, especially in the last twenty years. In the present scenario, work can be completed even if the employee is away from the office with certain apps, whereas maintaining proper contact with family back home is also possible during times of busy working day (Anderson et al. 2013).
For facilitating the transition in the pattern of working, it is significant in identifying the impact of such changes on the workers and the research that has emerged in the last two decades has started elucidating this field. On reconsidering the research available over the database, it instantly becomes evident that using of the mobile technologies can provide both advantages and disadvantages to the employees. An important advantage that materializes on constant basis is the suppleness of the mobile technology app offering, facilitating employees in regulating the pace, time and location in which they accomplish their work (Wiese 2015). Associated to this is the augmented ability in accommodating work and fun into their lives and also being able to work for longer hours before the start of their jobs to encroaching on their homely lives. Furthermore, another advantage that is being perceived by the workers is the prospective of the employees for bigger productivity and competence of using the technological apps, along with the apparent benefit of having immediate access to colleagues when being away from the office. Adding to that is the survey results of employees working in the IT industry, where it has been identified that higher morale among staffs and their capability in manipulating the employer’s impressions through ‘dedicated’ appearance by being ever available.
Nonetheless, it can be stated that the use of apps have been beneficial in one way or the other in helping the employees maintain a work-life balance. Not only the big business corporations, but also the small businesses require enough dedication along with excellence to survive in this cutthroat competition (Goodwin and Graebe 2017). From small entrepreneurs to big business leaders, there are numerous things like satisfying of the needs of the customers, employees, keeping pace with the stiff competition, developing a good work balance, requiring bird’s eye view for them to lead a life free from any sort of stress. Such leaders or employers should consider their employees to be their biggest assets. Therefore, it is imperative on their part to have a strong business plan that has the ability in increasing the revenue of the business and creating an environment where the employees are able to perform better. Business app has been one such factor that has helped the employers and the employees in injecting more life to the balance of their work-life.
Benefits for Employees:
Certain benefits for using of these apps by the employees can be discussed here in this section. The first among many such benefits of using these apps are an app never sleeps. An investor would do well to invest in the business apps for the employees can execute their assigned tasks and assist the business employer in merchandising with his services and products, while performing certain other tasks like sleeping for longer hours, playing soccer with their children or enjoying quality time with friends and family. Apps have made it easy to perform the tasks at any point of time. Adding to that is the app’s ability to let the employee maintain a long-term relationship with his clients and other customers. Every business at certain point of time comes up with some grand news and offerings for their clients. Then, it is not always possible for the client to unlock the mail or go through the company website to know about such offers. According to Wiese (2015), an app can establish to be the eventual method of cutting down the frenzied procedure of investigating the websites or emails in offering reliable information about the offerings, right in the palm of their hand- their smartphone. An employee does not need to be physically reminding his client of all the offerings all the time amidst his busy work-life schedule.
However, the employees have also cited certain disadvantages in the use of technological apps. It has been recognized that app use can lead to augmented expectations from the employers along with an increase in the workload having a feeling of ‘never being off duty’. The negative influence of the family life have also been identified, especially that technology has the ability in lengthening the working day, intruding with the family life, which might lead to any sort of conflict with the family members (Stawarz et al. 2013). It has been witnessed that the emergence of these apps has contributed to the increase in the stress level of the employees in the fear of they being monitored by their employees.
Striking balance with Health and Well-being App:
Roughly, around 75 million people have been using their mobile phones for health with in the current situation there are around 1,00,000 health and wellness apps in the market that can be used by the employees to keep track of their health related issues (Deepika and Rani 2014). These personal monitoring devices have the ability of collecting data on everything from the steps taken from breathing to heart rate, along with apps that might sense the starting of any chronic illness of individuals at workplace. The expansion of the technology and the birth of such apps for both the personal and professional use make incorporating technology into the workplace a well-positioned advancement for affecting the well-being of the employees. This helps in enhancing of the collaboration and innovation through the global and fundamental work teams, putting in the best minds mutually for addressing of a problem, despite of their physical position (Frizzell 2015). It also helps in increasing the engagement and the work-life balance for the employees with flexible arrangements for work.
Management and Motivational Theories and Recommendations on Using the Apps:
Motivating the workers for using of this technological apps and making them interact with the health technology at workplace can sometimes be difficult. For decades now, the social scientists have been trying to establish the factors that motivate the behaviour of people, the ways they are being motivated and the reasons for the same (Hubbard 2016).
Hertzberg’s Two-Factor Theory:
Hertzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation has been able to identify the factors that influence the motivation of employees and augment their level of satisfaction. If there is existence of the motivating factors, it can well lead to satisfy the employees and motivate them in working harder. Similarly, if there is lack of the hygiene factors, they can well lead to dissatisfaction among employees and generate any sort of motivation. This theory takes into account the needs and wants of the employees are to be focused on by the employers to keep the workforce happy and productive. Employees require the feeling of supportiveness, offering feedback and making sure the work is not overly pressurizing them in any way and keeping them away from the family (Goodwin and Graebe 2017). Such business and health well-being apps have the ability of providing the employees with the motivating and hygiene factors where they can keep themselves connected with the family all the time and do their work at the same time. Their physical presence at workplace is not required all the time; they can have fun, be with the family and still be able to execute their tasks. The TimeTune app for Android and ATracker follows the routine of an individual in providing them with the data for analyzing the ways they would be spending their days (Roy 2016). It makes the employee ready on working out the ways of shifting towards the more pragmatic ratio of working and relaxing. This apps saves the employees from being stressed and pressurized all the time. It motivates them to work in a better way without being there at workplace all the time.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
The theory of Hierarchy of Needs that is being developed by the psychologist Abraham Maslow, states that the basic requirements of the individuals should be fulfilled before they feel motivated in attaining higher-level needs. Five level of hierarchy, with the first being physiological comprises of the needs for survival like the food, water and shelter.Adding to that is the safety concern including the personal and financial security along with the well-being of the employees. Female employees can use the security apps available these days to stay connected with close friends and families while working late at nights. Any wrong doing or uncanny situation might lead the female employee to click on the app that sends messages to the contacts that are most near to that particular female employee along with the nearest police station. It helps the female employee being stress free and keeps in touch with her dear ones in her time of need.
The third is the sense of belongingness that takes in the requirement for friendships, family and relationships. It is often the ‘moving parts’ of an employee’s life, that sometimes causes the biggest barrier for them to stay focused. It might happen that an employee might not be able to concentrate in sales meeting because he might forget at what time he needs to take his partner to airport. The Cozi app cuts short these concerns by putting in the personal information at one place. It takes in the to-do list, calendar, journal, shopping list and even a recipe manager. The beauty of this app is that every family member can have admittance through it and there is no need for whispering through the frenetic phone calls at work for coordinating the schedules or even setting up an appointment with doctor (Fleck, Robison and Cox 2014).
The fourth in line is the esteem, the need for being confident and be respected by others, which would be possible with these apps. These apps have made it possible for the employees in doing their own work and not being dependent or anyone or any other thing. Proper use of this apps would instil the confidence among the employees in executing any given task within the time frame, as these apps makes accessibility of work related factors from any situation and position.
Lastly, it is the self-actualization of the employees in attaining everything that one possibly can at the workplace though the use of these apps. This would enable the employee in planning his own things, scheduling important occasions so that they do not be missed at any given time. It is the desire of the employees to strike and maintain a proper balance among work and life that he exhibits eagerness in using of these apps.
It can be concluded that maintain work/life balance is a significant factor for the employees. Working 24/7 can never be an option. Working all the time would burn out an individual. The burn out would lead to disappear all the passion that an employ had for his job. So, it becomes important for the employees in striking a balance between the time he provides at his desk and the time away for staying happy, productive, sane and healthy. There is existence of enough apps that might block the emails and help an employee keep calm and make the work/life balance a certainty.
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