Flexibility Afforded by Mobile Technology versus Work-Life Balance

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The Impact of Mobile Technology on Work-Life Balance

The freedom provided by mobile technology has an impact on how people balance work and other responsibilities. In Australia, using a cell phone has become a part of daily life. The tension between work and life is, however, a result of technology use. Due to the excessive reliance on communication gadgets, employees engage with their families less frequently in person. The channels of communication have changed in both the office and the home as a result of the accessibility of communication technologies. Many people lack control over the tasks they must complete in various timescales. People have suffered significant social welfare losses as a result of the failed scheme. The loss is caused by the fact that most of the family members may feel left out and unconsidered when the working members spend the significant time at workplaces.

The Changing Social Constructs

The mobile technology has changed the social constructs of the society. The traditional way of living and the traditional values and beliefs are slowly being eroded by technology. Time allocation can only be determined by the nature of work and the amount of time available to do one thing at a specific interval. A family and a work both have welfare effects. The former offers support, love, and affection that cannot be found in the workplaces. Labor, on the other hand, is essential because employees receive their livelihood from working. According to Cousins and Robey's writing, "some people derive satisfaction from working as opposed to staying idle" (2015).

Communication Changes and Reduced Welfare

Numerous employees contact friends and family mostly at workplaces. The use of work time for personal use reduces the amount of time workers should spend working. Similarly, a significant number of employees use their devices to consider work-related messages while being at home. Welfare is reduced because family members lack time to communicate and deliberate on family matters. Allocation of fewer efforts to work can threaten the attainment of goals and objectives of an organization as well as individual targets. Many working hours in a firm may not necessarily increase the productivity.

The Challenge of Switching Off

Switching-off has become difficult, and people find themselves doing work when they are supposed to be doing family activities or vice versa. Connectivity brings the duality of connects and disconnects. Users are capable of connecting and disconnecting at free will to suit the timing and maintain the right amount of connectivity. A device user makes an intermittent connection with the others, disconnects, and reconnects, and so on. A connectivity flow enables people to use time sparingly while achieving personal and organizational goals. Dery and others noted in their work that "the inability to stop doing work activities brings the endless conflict with the job and family duties," (2014).

Negative Organizational Implications

The work-life balance conflict leads to negative organizational implications. People find the less complex tasks to be more gratifying, which harms productivity. The afforded flexibility of the mobile technology causes slowness in working environments. According to Lee, the use of mobile devices before sleeping can lead to unfulfilled life choices because the mobile light can affect and disrupt sleeping patterns," (2017). The usage of a mobile phone after 9 p.m. can prompt an individual to become less engaged the next day due to tiredness. Individuals can be stressed due checking work emails from home. According to Lee's research, "people who checked their emails at night registered higher stress levels than those who never bothered," (2017). People have a tendency to believe that doing work-related activities such as emailing outside work can give the sense of importance and the status to the society (Dahm et al., 2015).

Work-to-Family Conflicts

A conflict between a work and a family always occurs. Many people choose or concentrate on one side, leaving the other. Work-to-family conflicts vary across activities in workplaces. Workers are incapable of meeting family and work demands simultaneously. According to Dahm, Glomb, Manchester & Leroy, "many people are unable to meet family demands as they tend to concentrate more on work-related activities," (2015). Many people fail to self-regulate and one member of a family can affect the productivity of the others in their different workplaces. Concentration on the job instead of the family harms relationships. Dahm noted that "the impact the disruption affects performance both at work and home," (2015).

Self-Discrepancy and Time Allocation

The inability to devote time appropriately makes individuals lack time and energy that they require to accomplish tasks. The choice of things to do and things not to do leads to self-gratification. Many tend to choose options that may not cause a psychological toll, making people unable to live to expectations of their employers and families. The self-discrepancy can affect time allocation, which in turn impacts physical and psychological well-being. Employees have discrepancies in the difference between how they would want to spend time and how they actually spend it. The dissimilarities between the 'ideal self' and the 'actual self' lead to the exhaustion and the dissatisfaction. Significant numbers of people in Australia avoid challenging tasks, which may call for more time and concentration. According to a research done in Australia, it is impossible for mobile device users to maintain a satisfactory balance between personal life and work (Lee, 2017). Work and personal life balancing requires deliberation and planning. Time allocation is vital to achieving the family and work balance.

The Impact on the Human Brain

Overreliance on mobile technology seems to affect the way the human brain works even if it has not been proven yet. As established in a study by Leung (2017), memories of mobile users were seen to become poorer. The overreliance may affect the brain activity and the level of concentration on things that matter. People's attention has become divided due to the usage of devices. As stated by Leung (2017) a researcher in an Australian college, the reliance on mobile phone technology may affect the manner in which brains work due to the reduced activity in the part called hippocampus. Human brain utilizes this small organ to get from A to B. The 'Internet effect' causes have made people use the Internet as a substitute for their own reasoning and mind.

The Importance of Physical Presence

The flexibility has eliminated the importance of the physical presence. "Modern generation does not meet often but, instead, communicates electronically," which is a threat to relationships (Cousins and Robey, 2015). The knowledge of the possible application of various mobile technologies is useful but it is employed wrongly in the contemporary world. Critical issues including social pressures, time allocation, and planning surround conflicts affecting the modern society. The analysis of work and family conflicts is vital to understanding and strategizing on the right way to utilize time and balance between sides of the balanced social life. The choice of a work over a family is a personal decision. Social pressures, peer pressure, and social messaging contribute to making individuals less available to work and their families. In Australia, many individuals are unable to detach themselves from work activities; therefore, they lack time to relax, which causes the struggle between work and life (Dahm et al., 2015). The problem leads to the reduced work productivity and personal satisfaction.

Mental Stress and Frustration

The usage of mobile technology causes mental stress and frustration. Quick responses to work-related calls during personal time do not work well on behalf of a family. According to the research done by Lee, "about 34% of field workers find it difficult to ignore job-related calls and messages even when being on holidays, which can cause the mental stress," (2017). On the other hand, workers who ignore work-related issues that require being dealt with during their personal time can lose their jobs. Generally, mobile phones are reported to disrupt home activities when communication from work is done.


The flexibility afforded by the mobile technology does not promote work-life balance in Australia. Despite the positive contribution of technology in the modern world, people are struggling to keep things together. Many people are always trapped not knowing the right time to do work-related activities and the right time to handle family affairs. As long as people are working, there will still be a conflict in time allocation and usage, and many will ever find it hard to achieve work-life balance.


Cousins, K., & Robey, D. (2015). Managing work-life boundaries with mobile technologies. Information Technology & People, 28(1), 34-71.

Dahm, P. C., Glomb, T. M., Manchester, C. F., & Leroy, S. (2015). Work–family conflict and self-discrepant time allocation at work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(3), 767-792.

Dery, K., Kolb, D., & Maccormick, J. (2014). Working with connective flow: How smartphone use is evolving in practice. European Journal of Information Systems, 23(5), 558-570.

Lee, S. (2017). Mobile phone culture: The impacts of mobile phone use. Encyclopaedia of Mobile Phone Behavior,658-672.

Leung, L. (2017). Mobile phone behaviour in daily life. Mobile Phone Behaviour, 242-269.

April 06, 2023


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