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1.1 Background of the Research

In recent times, various reforms in the banking sector of Nigeria, has made the banking occupation to be more demanding (Olimugiwa, 2015). Various reforms aimed at strengthening the banking sector necessitate the merging of banks, while weaker ones were acquired. One of such reforms initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria is the bank recapitalization policy in 2005, where banks were mandated to raise their capital base to N25 billion. This brought about many mergers and acquisitions in the banking sector, while some banks resorted to raising more funds from the capital market through issuance of new shares.

The various mergers and acquisitions resulted in more job losses as most banks could not sustain the cost of operating more branches with increased work force. This is as a result of poor manpower planning and economic downturn (Uchendu, 2005). The massive lay-offs in the banking sector of Nigeria brought about more responsibilities for employers who survived the average effect of the acquisitions. A job that should be handled by 2 or 3 people was now given to 1 person to handle. Employees in the banking sector have to work tirelessly to meet up with the goals of the bank with little or no motivation (Soludo, 2004). Tasks not completed during working hours are now taken home to be completed. With the aid of digital devices such as smart phones, laptops, palmtops as this technologies enable work to be conducted remotely, away from the normal working environment (Cox,2011).

‘Work’ and ‘Life’ are two different spheres that need to be carefully balanced, as one could negatively affect the other (Agba, Nwosu, Innah, 2015). Job stress and employees not being satisfied with their jobs can occur when ‘work and ‘life’ are out of balance (Rotondo, Carlson & Kincaid, 2003).

The concept of work-life balance implies the need to establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. This is expressed as “working without worrying plot personal issues at the office; and being at home without bringing office task on board”.

Maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal live is even getting more challenging with more jobs and few hands to execute them in the banking sector. The use of digital devices to work is getting more popular amongst the general public with the introduction of smart phones; users have found a way to connect to their jobs 24/7. (Rotondo, Carlson & Kincaid, 2003)

The utilization of digital devices is getting popular among employees in the banking sector of Nigeria (Modi, 2011). The invention of tablets, laptops, smart phones and social media platforms has been widely accepted by the working class citizens, as it has now made working remotely possible. Employees now have the liberty and flexibility to work from anywhere-including their homes.

Technological advancement at workplace has been discovered to be a major factor in improving productivity and efficiency in an organization. Strategic technological innovations have improved product quality, service delivery and the manner employees communicate at workplaces (Adeyeyetololope, 2014). However, getting the right balance between work and personal life can be challenging. ‘’Work roles are getting more difficult and encroaching to our personal life ever since digital technology has enabled us to be connected to our jobs at all time’’ (Sokol,2015). Work related stress is now on the increase, as more employees feel they need to be connected to their devices in-order to be responsive to their jobs at all times. A 2014 Gallup study revealed that employees in the U.S who use their smart phones outside normal business hours are more likely to be stressed out.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Work related stress, reduction in job satisfaction, and work-life in-balance is frustrating more employees, as more employers expect their employees to be reachable outside the office. Potential health risks associated with technology is even becoming more glaring, considering the fact that work can still be extended at home. The applications and devices that allow us to toggle between working at the office and home can also cause and imbalance between work and life.

1.3 Research Purpose

The main purpose of the research is to explore the impact of digital devices on work-life balance, job stress and satisfaction in general and First Bank in particular. Banks in Nigeria have a responsibility to design and implement an effective work-life balance policy for employees to be productive and achieve organization goals. The research provides an examination on the various work-life balance practices of the bank under study, and how these WLB practices affect WLB job stress and job satisfaction.

1.4 Research Questions and objectives

The research question for this study is the following:

How does the use of digital devices affect work-life balance, job stress and job satisfaction in First Bank? There are several objectives in the study:

These are the following:

  1. To identify different work-life balance policies and practices of First bank. The study aims to determine the key work-life balance practices and policies being executed by the management of First Bank.
  2. To examine the impact of digital devices on work-life balance of employees of First Bank. The research seeks to provide an understanding of the impacts of digital devices on work-life balance of the employees of First bank.
  3. To determine whether Digital devices trigger stress levels of employees of First Bank. The research seeks to provide an understanding of the impacts of digital devices on job stress of employees of First bank.
  4. To examine the impact of digital devices on job satisfaction of employees of First Bank. The research seeks to provide an understanding of the impacts of digital devices on job fulfilment and satisfaction of employees.
  5. To provide recommendations to First Bank on best work-life balance practices to implement based on the findings from the research. The research aims to have defined recommendations for First bank as to the types of WLB practices that would benefit First Bank and the employees of the bank.

There are different problems and an issue explored into this research one issue is the extent of contribution provided by the banks in bettering the lives of their employees through best WL practices. This is explored in the study to gain an understanding of the impact of digital devices on work-life balance, job stress and job satisfaction in First Bank. Another issue is the impact of these WLB of the banks. Given the significant value of WLB has on organizational performance, it is imperative to investigate if the use of digital devices have impact on work-life balance, job stress and job satisfaction.

1.5 Significance of the Study

For the banking sector, the results of the research are relevant as these firms continue to operate in similar environments.  In understanding the relevant WLB practices that would have the most significant positive impacts in the organization, the employees of the bank will be effectively operating in an environment designed to lead to the greatest success for the organization. 

The results of the research also lead to significant contribution to academia. The material that results from the research adds to the knowledge and understanding of work-life balance, job stress and job satisfaction by researchers and provides recommendations as to the actions that banks can execute as part of their WLB practices.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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