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ABC's of A Plastic Filled World

I believe one of the reasons that is hindering us towards achieving a sustainable world is the invention of smartphone. With the invention of smartphone, things have changed drastically for individuals. Gone are the days when employees can take a break from work when they are out of office. Advancement in technology has raised the bar of expectations of employees. There is no more boundary of office hours as employees are bind to smartphone. Employees are expected to be mobile, ready to fulfil their responsibilities whenever they are. Being mobile saves transportation cost and commuting  time to office when work suddenly crops up. It also grants employees a sense of freedom as they are no longer hooked up to office desk. Smartphones connect people to the realm of information, allowing individuals to multitask and respond in swift fashion. As a result employees are more knowledgeable and are constantly connected to market updates. In this way, smartphone does improve work performance as employees are exposed to more work related emails, messages and calls. 

However, working in this manner adds pressure to workers as personal and family time reduces. Employees are humans after all, not robots, they have attachments in life such as family and friends.  When they are cut off from their loved ones, it causes stress and anxiety which lead to health consequences. Bowlby (1980) believes that attachments are developed early in life and have a basis of security and survival for the individual. When theses attachments are endangered or broken, there is a normal human response of anxiety and protest. Excessive use of smartphone can cause problems such as reduced sleeping hours and less family time. Work issues cause family conflicts and family responsibilities cause work interference. There is a clear relationship between these two and they affect employee performance.

A lack of disciplined use of the smartphone does not enable employees to achieve Work Life Balance (WLB). But that does not mean the smartphone itself is an obstacle to achieving WLB. To attain WLB, the management is to conduct training programs to instil digital discipline. For example, the training lessons can be focused on time management and personal performance management. This is to highlight the importance of WLB and help employees to recognise the areas of life that they can change to achieve WLB. With WLB achieved, individuals would have the time and energy to think about world issue like destruction of environment. With a collective effort, we can work towards building a sustainable world.


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