How do mobile technologies affect work and private lives? The case of Turkish banking professionals
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Mobile technologies (MTs) became important part of infrastructure in service industries. The impacts of MT usage in work are shown to be significant; improving the productivity, responsiveness, effectiveness and flexibility of companies, while reshaping the work place organization and making employees accessible on a 7/24 basis. However, there are great differences in terms of the types and levels of these impacts on organizations and individuals as the industry, region/country changes. Moreover, not much is known about the effects of MTs in developing countries like Turkey where there is a rapidly increasing mobile penetration (mobile phone and internet subscription rates) which is a critical infrastructure component of mobile working.Turkey has quite an advanced banking industry that has went through serious industrial restructuring. Banking industry has always been among the early adapters and first users of new information and communication technologies, as well as first appliers of new organizational development and human resource management techniques. In the last few years, mobile technologies has become key technologies for banks and accordingly, the usage of mobile devices by banking professionals for work purposes increased. As happened in other new information technologies and human resources systems, experiences of banking industry in mobile technology usage at work-place can provide best practices or lessons for practitioners form other industries.This study tries to provide insights on the perceptions of employees in the Turkish banking industry, about the impact of these technologies on their work practices and on their private lives. A structured survey is carried out with 107 white collar professionals from 5 major retail banks in Turkey. By conducting Factors Analysis and correlation analysis, 8 main factors are identified that represents the impacts of MT usage for work purposes and their interrelations with eachother and demographic factors are explored.Findings reveal that intensity of mobile device usage is still not high in banking industry. Employees perceive the positive impacts of mobile working on information and knowledge supply chain, time management of their organization,. Time management is one of the issues occurred due to mobile working. Attention and focus on meetings and interviews seems to be challenged due to parallel usage of mobile devices in meetings. There are correlations between feeling "Control, pressure, demand for responsiveness and workload" and intensity of mobile device usage and continous accessibility. Similarly, improvements in information and knowledge/flow and meeting organizations are correlated to the impacts of mobile working on productivity, quality and work-life balance. Research showed that the perceptions of employess about the implications of mobile work on "productivity, effectiveness and work-life balance" and "Attention and Focus on Group work like Meetings and Interviews" vary by gender, and on "Multitasking and work-shifting" vary by age. Education level also affects the perception on "Productivity, effectiveness and work-life balance". Hence the policy makers and managers and they also must consider the demographics of the employees when designing and implementing systems about mobile working in banking industry.
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