Information and communication technologies are electronic devices that gather, store, and send information. The electronic devices form part of daily work in the banking industry across the world. They include the use of mobile phones, laptops, instant messaging and emails among others. According to Day, Arla, Natasha, and Kevin, about 90% of businesses in the United Kingdom have access to the internet and more than 50% of these businesses make reports using the internet. The use of communication technologies influences both professional and personal lives of employees extensively. According to Galegher, Robert, and Carmen, the use of communication technologies can have both positive and negative impacts on employees work experiences. Communication technologies help in streamlining organizational processes and improve the productivity of employees if managed effectively. For instance, it improves the ability of employees to solve problems as it increases their access to information. Also, it increases their ability to communicate with one another and thus improves performances and efficiency of employees.
Communication technologies make it possible for employees to adopt flexible work schedules that make it possible for them to perform best by obtaining information and feedback instantly and thus address concerns and solve problems instantly. Communication technologies create an environment that is conducive for a wide range of work styles and preferences like teleconferencing facilities, compressed work schedules, telecommuting schedules, open office environments, and flexible work arrangements (Gillespie, et al). All these factors facilitate productivity among employees in the banking industry. Communication technologies have empowered employees to access information in any place and at whatever time and exchange it across physical boundaries (Galegher, Robert, and Carmen). In as much as communication technologies have played a critical role in improving efficiency and productivity among workers, it has also resulted in some detrimental effects on the well-being of employees.
As mentioned earlier, communication technologies empower employees to access information at any time and any place and allow them to exchange it across temporal and physical boundaries. As such, the boundaries between personal life and employees’ work become more permeable. As a result, work expansions, stress spillover, and incapability between efficiency and well-being in the workplace are greatly embraced in the lives of employees outside of work. According to Barber, Larissa, and Alecia, communication technologies affect the health outcomes of employees negatively as it increases stress and decreases the psychological health.
The overdependence of the communication technologies also affects employees negatively. For instance, whenever there is a malfunctioning like freezes, breakdowns, and crashes, or when systems are not functioning properly, employees become frustrated. As such, stress among employees is increased. Continuous frustration increases chances of strain experience among employees. Additionally, communication technologies have intensified information overload creating stress with the information. This results from the fact that information flow increases while workload increases making employees’ access large amounts of data with a limited amount of time to review. Therefore, employees have limited time to go through information to determine information that is relevant and those that are not. Also, there is increased disruption from the increased barrage of information where employees feel obligated to respond to all information like making replies to emails.
This paper will analyze stress and employee wellbeing as impacted by communication technologies in relation to romanticism, managerialism, Marxism, and actor-network theory.
Romanticism is a philosophy that stresses on the primacy of the employees, their inspiration, and their subjectivity. Romanticism became dominant between late 18th and mid-19th centuries in western civilization (Coeckelbergh). Romanticism is some form of intellectual orientation that is characterized by many works of histography, criticism, architecture, music, painting, and literature. Mainly, romanticism was opposed to rationalism and physical materialism and emphasized on the transcendental, visionary and emotional well-being of an individual. The central idea of organizational behavior is the management of workers so as to create a more efficient business environment. To achieve this, romanticism may be incorporated as it puts emphasis on the well-being of the employees.
The implementation and application of communication technologies within banking institutions need to consider the aspects of romanticism. As such, the techniques need to recognize the beauties of nature such as putting forth platforms where workers can interact not only virtually but also face to face (Coeckelbergh). The communication technologies implemented should promote senses over intellect as well as promote emotion over reasons. Managers, therefore, need to heighten the examination of human personality and its moods as well as mental personalities. This way, leaders in banking institution will be able to fix the negative outcomes that may result from communication technologies for instance burnouts among workers. There will be the significant promotion of the wellbeing of employees for instance by encouraging their engagement. Banking institution needs to cultivate an environment that supports accessibility and efficiencies in communication technology practices.
Marxism is a theory of scientific socialism and was created by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The ideas of Marxism theory revolve around the efforts by working class individuals to attain higher forms of human society (Hall). The employees in banks constitute the working class whose desire is to achieve more and become better individuals even as they work to ensure profitability of banks. They would desire a working environment that promotes their well-being while at the same time promote positive relations within and outside the organizations. As such, communication technologies that minimize stress and strain while promoting healthy culture is more favorable to employees in UK banks.
Marxists argue that organizational structures are not rational systems for performing work efficiently. Rather, they are powerful systems designed to maximize control and profits for organizations. Organizational structures within organizations create division among the workforce, improve efficiency at the expense of worker’s skills, and displace discretion from workers to managers. According to Josefy et al., the structures formed leads to the development of hierarchy that leads to irrational means of coordination and provides an instrument of control and a means of accumulating capital.
Communication technologies provide a favorable means for organizations to maximize control and profitability within organizations. In this case, workers will be productive in the short run while in the long run, they will be unproductive. Long-term unproductivity is detrimental to organizations. However, management within banking institutions have opportunities to manage communication technologies to promote techniques that are favorable for human relations and leads to the social development of workers. This way, banking institutions will perform best.
Marxism posits that social relations of production within the organization are the major source of conflict and class stratification. The presence of stratification and conflict leads to unproductivity among employees. According to Hall, the problem of social class and conflict results from positions in the labor system as opposed to individual character traits of the employees. Thus, communication technologies that promote stratification of the class are likely to cause firms to be unproductive. Importantly, communication technologies are critical to organizations and without which, organizations will cease to be operational. As such, banking institutions need to implement communication technologies in a way that minimizes class stratification and promotes integrations and interaction of employees at all levels. As a result, banking institutions will promote good relations that promote the well-being of employees.