Posted in MBA

The Invisible Students

This is a weekly academic blog for my MBA class Lasallian Business Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

 

Coming from UP, our primary battle-cry is that of the right to education. But as the years progress, being called iskolar ng bayan is somehow slowly losing its meaning. The truth is, much of our tuition fees are no longer government subsidized.

In 2007, a year before I enrolled to UP, there has been a 300% tuition fee increase. The default bracketing system of new students is also raised higher that, in a sense, you will have to prove just how poor you are before you can avail of cheaper tuition fee. In fact, to belong to the lowest bracket (Bracket E), you will have to prove that you’re so poor, you cannot even afford to buy a cell phone. That’s a very unrealistic standard as even the poorest urban slum dwellers have a cell phone.

As such, I came to UP with a much higher tuition fee than batches ahead of me. They now call batches 2007 onwards as “the rich kids”. During my college years, they also changed the standards so that new enrollees now belong to Bracket A by default, in which they will have to prove they qualify to lower brackets just to pay a lower tuition fee.

These changes in government subsidy caused a change in the demographics of UP students — and it’s not because there are more privileged students that pass the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT). It’s only because much of our underprivileged counterparts pass the UPCAT but choose not to enroll primarily because of the higher tuition fees and the hoops they have to go through just to fulfill the requirements.

My blog post four years ago was about the Kristel Tejada, a college freshman and the eldest daughter of a taxi driver from Tondo who committed suicide because she was unable to pay her tuition fees. While there were students who commit suicide because they have failing grades, Kristel committed suicide just because her family did not have the financial means to send her to school. This was unacceptable, considering she was considered worthy of a state university education.

This brings us into a question: Is education still a right or has it now become a privilege?

The thing about privilege is that we do not know when we have it. When I was in college, I took for granted that my parents will pay for my tuition and my school requirements. I expected and received weekly allowances. I knew with certainty that I will finish in four years without stopping unless I failed a subject. It’s only now that I had to finance my own graduate school education that I realized how lucky I was.

Meanwhile, my other counterparts cannot even finish an undergraduate degree because they did not have parents like mine. Most important of all, the only reason why I can afford to pay for graduate school now is that (1) I was able to finish college, and therefore (2) I was able to get a good-paying job. The reality is, other people can’t even get past Step 1!

Back in college, I had friends that belonged to Bracket E. But frankly, I never noticed that a lot of my fellow students drop out in the middle of the term because their parents can no longer afford to send them to school. I never knew that a lot of my classmates choose to work part-time or stop for a while just to make ends meet. Worse of all, I never noticed that the underprivileged are being removed from the landscape because they don’t even make it past enrollment day!

It would have been acceptable if we studied in a private school. But it seemed like a crime knowing that we are at a state university where the government is mandated to provide for these deserving students.

What I enjoyed most about my UP education is academic freedom. Here, it did not matter what I wore, if I drove a car, what I look like, if my professors like me, or even if I get high grades. All that matters is engaging intellectually within and outside of class. Sadly, a lot of deserving students cannot even enjoy academic freedom as it comes with a financial burden. These students are so focused on merely surviving through the semester and worrying if they will have enough money for the next. They learn early on that even though they are just as qualified, they will have a harder time finishing school just because they happen to be poor.

The problem with losing sight of the underprivileged simply because they cannot make it to school is that we no longer see the people we should look out for. The more underprivileged students drop out or pass up enrolling, the more privileged students think that the right to education is being fulfilled. It breeds apathy and a lack of awareness, which to me, beats the purpose of our education.

We may be knowledgeable within the walls of the classroom, but greater education is being aware of what happens outside of it and what we should do about it. Otherwise, all that higher education will only become a means for us to perpetuate the system of accumulating wealth just so our children will not suffer the same fate as the invisible students who cannot make it to class.

Posted in MBA

Millennials and the Future of CSR

This is a weekly academic blog for my MBA class Lasallian Business Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Millennials have been getting a bad rap for being self-entitled “kidults”. But reluctant adults as we may seem, based on the recent Horizon Media‘s Finger on the Pulse Study (2017), we might actually change the world.

The new generation grew up during the rise of self-esteem messaging. We grew up insanely idealistic, slightly self-entitled, and socially hyper-aware. Often, we’ve been called as temperamental brats and narcissists. We are also digital natives who have witnessed the rapid advancement of technology and interconnectivity. As such, lonesome as we may look with our palms stuck on our smartphones, we actually belong to a digital tribe. Add that to the quicker spread of information that immersed us to as many advocacies as you can think!

As we now occupy the labor force and the market, businesses and nonprofits have leveraged the millennial culture to sell their own businesses and nonprofits. Advocacy and brand messaging now seemed to be interchangeable.

 

The Way Millennials Buy

In the era of superheroes, millennials seem to aspire to save the world, one shopping bag at a time.

This is evidenced by successful marketing via injecting social relevance into the most commonplace products and services. Even the most commercial brands have learned to incorporate words such as organic, natural, biodegradable, eco-friendly, reusable, healthy, and local to their products and services.

CAUSE + Sumption has become a way of life, in which millennials purchase from businesses with the same values that they espouse. And it’s not just about businesses having a three-month long campaign. Millennials are looking for the real thing! We are known to make well-researched purchases. The Intelligence Group’s Cassandra Report says that 72% of millennials research online before making an in-store purchase.

What’s more is that we also bother to check if these businesses are actually doing something for the greater good. A whopping 81% of our generation (Horizon Media, 2017) expect businesses to make a public commitment to good corporate citizenship. These activities may involve donating to charity, paying their employees right, or reducing their carbon footprint.

A successful example of this is Tom’s footwear’s giving back model, wherein purchasing one pair of Tom’s will purchase another pair for the underprivileged. Cafes doing a suspended coffee campaigns have also gone viral. This is where customers can buy two cups of coffee — one for them, and another for the next homeless man who walks in. There have been boycott movements for businesses running sweatshops, such as Gap, Nike, and Liz Claiborne. Locally, at the height of the friction with China, patriotic consumers are encouraging the masses not to buy goods made in China.

In short, millennials don’t just purchase products out of need. Our purchases are a badge that seem to reflect who we are, or what kind of citizens we aspire to be.

 

The Way Millennials Work

It’s even more surprising to find out that what’s in our heart is in our pockets.

Millennials grew up at the time when the triple bottom line has become the standard to measure corporate success. Sustainability reporting via the Global Reporting Initiative, as well as alignment with UN Millennium Development Goals, have also been adopted by more companies by the time we entered the labor force. As such, we have become more aware and therefore choosier when it comes to the companies we dedicate our productive times with.

Unheard of in the previous generations, millennials are even willing to go as far as getting a pay cut just to work for socially-relevant companies. The 2015 Cone Communications study showed that millennials are more willing to work for truly good businesses even if it meant having a lower salary. The gap between this worldview of millennials and the older generations combined are huge. It really is a mark of a generational change.

2014 Nielsen study says that 70% of millennials preferred employers who are committed to the community. This makes it a challenge for employers to keep their millennial workforce engaged by genuinely contributing to society via corporate social responsibility. It’s no longer just about having pool tables, company outings, and flexible hours as employee benefits. They now must answer the question everly millennial asks themselves, “What can I do for society while being at work? (a classic example of Work-Life Integration)” This has made employee volunteering time-off and matching employee contributions a great way for the company to make the ever-mobile millennials stay.

Some of us even go as far as designing our business around the development sector and corporate social responsibility. As an example, local startups are first to incorporate socially-relevant causes to their new businesses. Not a surprise, as most of these are run by millennials anyway. For example, Cropital is a site that allows micro-lending to local farmers. Another startup, Storm Benefits provide a means for employees to choose their own company benefits such as travel, wellness, and fitness product and services discounts.

These new studies on millennials and CSR all the more make corporate social responsibility initiatives a win-win. While companies can help society thru their ethical business practices as well as socially-beneficial products and services, they can keep their younger workforce engaged, and even attract more consumers to purchase from their brands.

As a millennial myself, I can’t wait to see our generation grow up and see what we can do for the future. If we are already ethical as consumers, employees, and citizens, we might actually fulfill our idealistic dreams of making the world a better place.

 

Posted in MBA

Ethical Advertising in the Nonprofit Industry

This is a weekly academic blog for my MBA class Lasallian Business Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Call it benevolent manipulation, but “poverty pornography” is a serious crime against the dignity of human persons, even if it meant selling campaigns that will help them in the end.

Ethics in advertising are not just for businesses. Unethical practices in advertising can also be used by the most well-meaning of nonprofits with the goal of gaining more donations. And even if the end is positive, the means still needs to be examined and ensured to be ethical.

Like businesses, nonprofits may operate within the bounds of laws, but may still be considered unethical. American Press Institute (2016) have found that only 37% of nonprofit media have created guidelines about funding. The API study also found that nonprofit managers will often not screen the fundraising collateral until it has already been published. In short, does ethics even matter in nonprofit advertising?

 

Guilt-tripping the masses

Making reluctant donors feel like they’re not doing enough to solve the world’s problem is a common tactic in the nonprofit industry. These ads are targeted to makes the public feel guilty of being better off than majority of the world. Unfortunately, the point is often communicated using unethical imagery.

The use of “poverty porn” to incite guilt, shame, feelings of inadequacy, and suspicion of apathy is just as offensive as business brands making use of unethical advertising practices to sell. It strikes at the core of our human insecurity of still never being enough.

Even the sourcing of these images is in question. Take, for example, photos of starving children in Africa with Michael Jackson’s song, “Heal the World” playing in the background. Though it is possibly real, this imagery has been overused that potential donors may have developed a certain degree of desensitization.

It is true that the use of emotions can encourage potential donors to feel compassion. However, this should not be at the expense of the beneficiaries’ dignity. Have nonprofits acquired fully informed consent on the part of the subjects? Were the people in the photos aware of the implications and the use of these images for the sake of the campaign? Do they feel obligated to pose for photos in exchange for getting help?

Shocking images of poverty without providing context is a way to trick reluctant donors into believing half-truths. An ethical move on the part of nonprofits is not merely providing shocking images of poverty but providing more context behind the photos. These are, after all, people and not some abstract fundraising collateral. In the long run, it may also cost the nonprofits their donations because of the erosion of trust between them and the public.

It also matters whether imagery and stories clearly communicate what the organization does for the community. It is one thing to insist that there is a need for more donations, but there should also be clarity and truthfulness as to how the nonprofit aims to solve the problem. In the end, what have they done to change the situation for the better for all those people in the photos?

 

Great shock for the greater good?

Other issues facing ethical advertising for nonprofit is the sum that goes to the budget. An example of advertising overspending is when a nonprofit spent millions of dollars on a Superbowl ad. A question emerged at the time, “Should nonprofits restrict the amount that goes to their advertising? Is a full-blown Superbowl ad absolutely necessary to advance the cause?” While there are no laws on advertising restrictions of nonprofits, the best that ethical nonprofits should do is to disclose and be transparent on how they spend donations.

Similarly, there have been numerous advocacy campaigns that are striking but are almost completely unrelated to the cause. The globally viral “Ice Bucket Challenge” raised funds for amyotrophic laterals sclerosis (ALS) research. Without a doubt, it has been one of the most successful and globally replicable marketing campaigns that have raised millions for the cause. However, other participants of the challenge have been known to imitate the Challenge without even being aware of the campaign behind it. Should the mere virality and funds raised for the challenge enough to consider it successful?

An even more disputed advocacy campaign is the use of near-pornographic images raise awareness on veganism and animal welfare. These featured celebrities in the nude, with mere fruits and vegetables covering their private parts. While the cause may be noble and the campaign received the attention it wanted, there remains to be a question whether it is ethical to employ pornographic tactics just to make a campaign memorable. Does being a sexual nonprofit ad make it any better than a sexual business brand ad?

Ostentatious displays of poverty, mass guilt-tripping, extravagant spending, nude campaigns, and replicable no-brainer challenges. Who’s to say a campaign is unethical if the results meant nutrition awareness, elevated funding for research, and providing basic needs to far-flung countries? Nonprofits have their own organizations to run and budget restrictions to work around with. But employing unethical tactics should never justify even the noblest and purest of deeds.

 

Posted in MBA

Field Notes: When Helping Isn’t Helping

This is a weekly academic blog for my MBA class Lasallian Business Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

As the head of the resource mobilization of our Foundation, I needed to immerse myself into the community programs.

Much as I would like to stay in an air-conditioned office all day and talk to potential funders, getting to know our programs is essential in communicating our advocacy. So one day, I went on my first field work in Cainta, Rizal. My officemates warned me that I wear very old shoes that I can afford to never use casually again. After all, it wasn’t a pilot sanitation site for nothing.

Though Cainta is part of a first-class municipality and is located just at the hem of Metro Manila, there’s still a practice of open defecation here. The community is located inside an abandoned gated subdivision that was left for hundreds of informal settlers to illegally stay in. The abandoned subdivision has a partially complete playground and basketball courts but no constructed houses.

In the lots’ place are makeshift houses just a few meters’ width of houses made of plywood and haphazardly cemented bricks. Most of the “houses” do not have a connection to water or sewage. Instead, they make use of deep wells that comes from the high ground water just beside a creek. Unfortunately, this same creek is often both the community children’s swimming pool and public toilet.

During the ocular, we saw that the community toilet we constructed a year before already showed signs of deterioration. The walls have been scrubbed repeatedly, but there are still murky algae creeping upward. The plastic doors have been torn at the sides and the tiled floors are often dirty. But that’s not the main problem. The sewers have to be cleaned every other week, whereas the engineers predicted only twice a month of desludging. Last year, the community lasted eight months until the sewer was filled. Now, it was only a matter of days.

Because we wanted the program to be sustainable, we were looking forward to formally turn over the toilet to the community. We hoped that they would gain a sense of ownership by now, though the local government still had to appoint and pay for the neighborhood caretaker. Instead of free access, we also recommended that they collect a voluntary donation fee. This collected fee will supposedly be used for future desludging, cleaning tools, and maintenance of the toilet. However, we walked in to find that though they collected up to PHP 100K funds in one year (!), they are now left with only PHP 15K by the start of the year.

Our findings? The homeowners of the community used the funds for unrelated purposes such as electricity, load allowance, photocopying, decorations (obviously, not for the toilets!), and fiesta decorations. Our Program Manager reiterated that the donation fee is to be used for the desludging, especially now that they needed more frequent services than before. But the community leaders insisted that we just provide them an on-call service funded by the mayor himself. It became clear to me instantly that poor as the community may be, they are very used to dole outs from the government. Clearly, there was an air of entitlement.

The community was not impoverished. The municipal hall funded their electricity, load allowance, and much more, as the Barangay Captain herself confirmed. The community also has multiple moneymaking streams such as charging an entrance fee at the gates for vehicles who want to park overnight. Plus, by donation fees alone, they were able to pool more than PHP 100K, 20% of which came from the month of December alone. In short, “poor” as they are, they actually have money and, without a doubt, they know how to ask for more!

I came home that day from my first field work slightly disappointed but more challenged. We learned a lot from this pilot sanitation site especially in the area of community organizing. It was not my expertise, but they showed the reality of what happens on the ground during many well-intentioned corporate social responsibility programs and development work. There needs to be deeper knowledge not just on the corporate level, but down to the grassroots.

It really takes genuine care on the part of companies to actually plan and implement programs that are not just publicity-rich but whose impact to the community will penetrate to the deepest layers of inequality, injustice, and abuse. There’s no such thing as quick fix.

Posted in MBA

A Filipino Child’s Evolution of Ethics

This is a weekly academic blog for my MBA class Lasallian Business Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Ethics has always been one of the most interesting and fascinating topics. Primarily because a lot of people can’t seem to agree about it. The issue of ethics springs up during political debates, religious arguments, and questionable business practices.

But why have we become so different? Even if the entire population grew up Filipino, middle class, and educated, there would still be differences in how we approach and view events surrounding us.

Growing up, Filipino children may have been taught using the Virtue Approach. As kids, our parents like to teach us patience when our chest would explode in anger at our younger siblings. They taught us generosity in sharing our favorite toys. They taught is discipline in doing the household chores without a single complaint. They taught us how to pray too, after baptizing us into a religion we are yet to know but are expected to follow.

Then, as we grow up, we are taught Ethics of Care. “Kuyas” and “ates” are asked to take responsibility for our younger brothers and sisters. We are taught to look after “lola”, to pay respect to “tita”, and be kind to our cousins as we traditionally are expected to obey what adults tell us. Our suddenly small world of sharing toys and doing household chores now extend farther into minding our relationships with our immediate families and community.

At school, Justice and Fairness suddenly become highly emphasized. We learn that breaking the rules will have consequences, and following the rules will have rewards. We have depended on the school system to punish bullies and put gold stars in the hands of kids who do their homework. We look up to persons in authority, such as teachers, to uphold justice and fairness in the classroom and mediate during our most intense conflicts with classmates.

As college draws near, we learn more about the world’s various perspectives. Inside the new halls of the university, we meet out-of-the-box individuals and become slightly culture shocked. As the shelter of immediate family loosens, we learned to appreciate the diversity — even protect it — by respecting our colleagues’ Rights to express themselves. We may even openly explore and challenge the things we have known about religion, sexuality, relationships, and success. Along the way, we have learned to value the Common Good, to think of issues that do not directly involve us but we should care about.

When we become adults, we learn that our privilege upon getting extensive schooling come with Duty. We learn to take responsibility without being told by taking it upon ourselves to make tough decisions. Gone are the days we have to rely on mom and dad or teacher to tell us the right things to do. Because of our advanced age, we can even handle taking responsibility for those dependent on us. We also earn titles within the industry and build our reputations as we take on more of this duty.

So as you can see, the Filipino child’s life can be that of an evolution of ethics. We do not always retain the same mold in which we were born to. Throughout our lifetime, we may believe in certain things only to unbelieve in a matter of years. The hardest and greatest thing about growing up, however, is finally being able to choose what kind of person to be.

Most of all, the greatest challenge is to keep in touch with a side of ourselves to better understand others. Sometimes, the question is not merely answered by “right” or “wrong”. Empathy and perspective taking (which you may now call moral imagination) in a multi-ethics world is necessary in order for us to work harmoniously with each other. In my opinion, it is the single most important skill to learn growing up.

Posted in MBA

Corporate Social Responsibility: Of Pageantry and Publicity

This is a weekly academic blog for my MBA class Lasallian Business Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Next to Manny Pacquiao‘s boxing matches, Miss Universe is probably one of the most widely anticipated events in the Philippines. The gorgeous ladies from all over the world parading in quirky national costumes, sexy bikinis, and stunning gowns are such sights! That is, until we come to the most cringe-worthy segment of the pageant: the Question and Answer portion.

As what the indie film “Die Beautiful” has shown us — as the countless interview questions of a new employers did, too — the Question and Answer portion is almost expected to be well-practiced and even feel downright unauthentic. Ladies who have dedicated their lives to only grooming themselves fit for the crown may suddenly morph into fierce advocates of HIV patients, animal welfare, and equal rights just months before the pageant started. Worse, is Miss Universe truly more than just a pageant but an avenue for women empowerment, when the very nature of a pageant may contradict such cause?

Similarly, are strategic partnerships of businesses with nonprofits more than skin-deep? Having been in both the public relations and the nonprofit industry, I have known for a fact that lot of corporate social responsibility activities are just a glitzy and glamorous way to reduce taxes. Like Miss Universe, businesses can see corporate social responsibility as a way to parade their good works in the form of advertisement, celebrity ambassadorship, and positive publicity without any real advocacy.

But then, it takes two to tango. Surely, nonprofits are aware that some of these strategic partnerships are really just for show. So the main ethics question that nonprofits have to deal with is, should they accept funds from businesses that have ill-reputations, engage in unethical practices, and are mainly concerned of publicity rather than advocacy?

An example of this would be the various tree-planting activities that have become a common CSR activity. In the haste to organize such events, the strategic partners often fail to do tedious research work on which trees to plant and where. As a result, there are many seedlings and land space that go to waste simply because of the incompatibility of the tree planted and the soil. But who would know? The event has already been immortalized in the news, perfuming the names of both the business and the nonprofits early on.

Another example would be both universities that I have studied in: the University of the Philippines and De La Salle University. Both have buildings named after Henry Sy Sr. — UP in their new BGC campus and DLSU in the new building at the Taft campus. Yet the academic community of both universities strongly opposes the conglomerate’s practice of labor contractualization, the building of the sprawling SM Mall of Asia on a reclaimed land, and an SMDC Blue Residences condo right in the smack of the Marikina faultline in Katipunan. Will additional funding for educational facilities be a correct basis for accepting the funds from a company with famously unethical business practices?

Lastly, a trendy tact for most companies is to go greenwashing or healthwashing. In order to present itself as a concerned with environmental sustainability and national health, they come up with products that are “greener” or “healthier”. Not to mention, sourced from “the local community” as approved by a certain nonprofit organization. These days, words like as organic, biodegradable, naturalhealthy, and local have been peppered gingerly with a newly launched product. With the liberality that these terms are used and the lack of strict accountability, skepticism arose if anything is ever as authentic as they brand to be. Some of us have seen through the smokes and mirrors that these are mere tacts to capture the emerging health-, socially-, or environmentally-conscious market.

In these days when reputation can easily be fabricated by so-called strategic partnerships and carefully chosen words, there is a call for more vigilant consumers and civil society organizations and more authentic businesses and nonprofits. In reality, the best CSR activity that most companies can do is to simply stop engaging in unethical business behaviors. Meanwhile, the best decisions nonprofits can take is to choose and build relationships with partners that most embody their own advocacy.

In the end, business and nonprofit leaders will have to prove that their programs are much more than pageantry and publicity.

Posted in MBA

Work-Life Integration: How we can address our apprehension for technology

This is a weekly academic blog for my MBA class Lasallian Business Leadership, Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

When I first thought about work-life balance, I immediately thought this: “My generation probably won’t be needing a lecture on that.”

Indeed, as stereotyped, millennials can no longer tell where life ends and work begins, much to the annoyance of the generations before them. Our second nature grasp of technology lead us to create an alternative concept to work-life balance, which is called work-life integration. This means we no longer see work and life as competing forces, but a holistic synergy of responsibilities. Instead of seeing life and work as separate slices of a pie, we now see it as a mixed stroke of colors painted on one canvas, impossible to tell apart.

 

Technology as a function of work-life integration

Work-life integration is largely owed to technology. The tools invented to make work faster and easier have also become tools to connect, play, and collaborate. Millennials learn this instinctively having grown up as digital natives. We have taken for granted technology because they’ve become our toys, our books, and our companions as we made our way to adulthood. Now that we are more highly connected than ever, it’s easy for us to switch between tools to do work and to live life to the fullest.

Every day, new apps and websites are being launched to help us integrate life and work better. The choice on how to respond to the advancement in technology have inevitably landed in the lap of corporate managers: Should we pay based on output or clocked-in time? Should we hire an employee, or hire a remote worker living 100 miles away at flexi hours? Should we open the office 24 hours, or forego an office altogether and meet only digitally?

These questions can be difficult to answer because technology has evolved much faster than our social norms and even our government laws. With these rapid changes, we are left to navigate and decide on our own without relevant well-established foundations.

 

Our apprehension for work-life integration

Work-life integration via technology may sound suspicious. The height of cyberbullying, social media addiction, identity theft, Internet trolls, scandals, and online scams can make it seem like a shifty concept to invest on by long-standing companies. It is tempting to shut away these concepts and stick to the traditional way of doing work that we have been standardized to do since Industrial Revolution.

However, as the Greek mythology goes, once humans have discovered fire, it can get pretty difficult to ignore. Life will never be the same again after the development of technology. We can never go back to our old ways, as the latter will continuously be challenged if not rendered obsolete very soon. The sooner we accept this, the sooner we can set our minds to adapt and respond to what it can bring. Like most things, technology comes both with uses and threats. It highly depends on the character of the 21st-century worker on how he or she wields such power.

Some of the beneficiaries of work-life integration are very real people. There are countless stay-at-home moms who can now earn money by teaching English online for just an hour a day. Executives can afford to take much-needed vacations, provided they stay with WiFi connection where they can email or call as needed. Employees can afford to manage two jobs without having to apply for another full shift work. The new breed of “digital nomads” allowed hundreds of college grads to travel the world and work right at their own laptops.

 

Work-life integration in the office

There is no manual for work-life integration that can be applied to every company. But it’s not surprising to find millennial-founded start-up companies to be at the forefront of innovative human resource practices allowing the integration.

The concept of work-life integration involves recognizing that humans are a complex mix of interest and responsibilities. Sometimes, people are not just employees but are also fathers, hobbyists, fitness enthusiasts, and weekend travelers. In recognizing these intersectionalities, we can make work relevant to allow these identities to flourish, instead of focusing only on the employee persona.

In the same way, companies can make use of technology to generate feedback from both their customers and their employees. Websites such as LinkedIn has been used to source out candidates through the professional social media platform. Glassdoor has allowed employees to review their previous employers for interested applicants to get an idea of what it’s like working there. Finally, even Facebook has been leveraged for advertising to showcase the more “human” side of the most bureaucratic companies.

In implementing work-life integration, it is imperative to note that productivity and growth are no longer limited to the four-walled cubicle. Doing your work fast with the aid of technology is no longer lazy, but the smart way to go.