Change is eternal

Change is eternal, and fast. The world is constantly developing and evolving. More work is needed to be done than ever before and so the pattern goes on, demanding more of the people with every changing trend. Everyone is asked to do more with less, then even more with less again (Porter, 2004). But seeing how the world has progressed to “today” change has been good. An exceptionally notable change that transformed the business era is technology, encouraging globalisation and an astounding improvement in productivity. Another to consider is competition, constraining every employee to always do better or in fact, be better than before. Industries have reached out their arms to accepting more employees, leading to an increased cultural diversity – and it is important. Cultural diversity appreciates the differences between one another in a team, and a diverse workforce enhances a company’s reputation in the eyes of the general public and satisfaction amidst the heart of the organisation.
Nevertheless, these big changes have slowly began to raise concerns about a vital feature that plays a crucial part in everyone’s work life: ethics. Ethics imply much about one’s judgment on differentiating what is right from wrong – one’s self integrity. Organisations are so indulged in catching up with the advancing globe that they tend to overlook the ethical obstacles that they are posed with, and this leads to ethical dilemmas for man. An ethical dilemma is a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two courses of action, either of which compromises a moral/ethical principle. To foster a clear understanding of this, it is better to break down an example among the ethical dilemmas that one faces in a workplace. With the narration of an incident concerning my cousin at his work, I look to introducing an ethical dilemma into this essay – the distortion of the work-life balance.
My cousin is an architect and the firm he worked for had handed a giant project to him, stating that it was an emergency and that they needed it done within a short duration of time. The office hours had soon ended, but the boss’ reluctance in letting him leave kept him working during the late hours. This continued for several days until it had an effect on my cousin’s work-life balance. Once he confronted his boss about it, the boss had turned hostile to him ever since. What began as deliberate hatred quickly kindled into verbal abuses from the boss, and it ultimately left my cousin to question whether to continue his work for the firm or not. Was he supposed to obey the boss’ command and compromise on his work-life balance, or stand up for his rights and let his superior undermine his self-respect or even poison his reputation enough to get him fired?
Being made to work after-hours has become a crisis everywhere, but this is not just the scenario. While technology has made communication all easier, it has also caused employers to always stay connected with their subordinates and work, interfering with personal lives nonetheless. It is stated for most workers that “the evening hours used to be mainly dedicated to family life, though nowadays evenings are increasingly being claimed by work demands intruding into the family domain owing to smartphone use, resulting in higher work-family conflicts” (Boswell ; Olson-Buchanan, 2007). A notion has been fabricated that staying connected at all times directly correlates to one’s interest with the work. This is incorrect on various factors, and Allen et al. (2000) asserted that there could be potential consequences like stress, burnout and underperformance when employees load professional work into their family lives.
On the contrary however, there could be exceptions; for instance, emergencies. Setting up a policy not to contact employees after work is sensible, but what if the situation is a downright emergency? Medical practitioners go through this, for a health emergency should never be compromised. Oncologists, for example, are extremely specialised and should be available on-call at every hour of emergency because a “shortage threatens the quality of care for patients” (Bernhaus et al., 2005). A life and death scenario can make an emergency an exception, but in comparison to the above scenario, nothing that happens in a business seems like much of an emergency. However, an emergency threatening the financial lifeline of a company is still important.
Measures are being taken to reduce the effects of such a dilemma. Lately, the France government passed out a new law affirming that employees need not respond to work emails or calls during evenings and weekends, in an attempt to encourage healthier work-life balances. Volkswagen AG, a car manufacturing firm, are one of the respondents to block emails after office hours and release them to workers’ inboxes the next workday (Turner, 2016). After all, the most significant of resolutions are the ones that happen inside an organisation. Sethi (2016) advised that every employer, as an employer looking to make his subordinates happy, should enforce the idea of leaving work at work. This not only encourages the employees to feel free, but also increases their productivity when they show up for work the subsequent day. Concerning emergencies, organisations should put up a policy that classifies which scenarios could be considered as business emergencies, and count every such situation as overtime as a token for the employee’s sacrifice. Also, employees need to do their research before taking up a job that pulls them into a work black hole, and “find an organisation that is in line” (Vasel, 2018) with their perspective of a work-life balance. Much of the responsibility is in the hands of the managers and the employees who need to embrace a philosophy of trust for a harmonious life at work. But if an employee is unable to tackle the scenario, it might be best for him to resign from the company and look for a job elsewhere. For an individual with such high regards for ethics, there is always someone to respect his values.
All things considered, ethical dilemmas really put to test one’s judgment, but one cannot be morally blamed for choosing an action of solution. There are several other dilemmas that could be encountered in a workplace such as harassment or cooking the books, but the best way to avoid them is to work for a company that has a healthy, well-organised culture and that which respects ethics. A work-life balance enhances both the individual’s life outside work – with family, friends and other interests in life – and the fruitfulness to the organisation he/she belongs to.