CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
History of work-life programs can be traced back to 1930s, when introduction of reduced working hours with four shifts of six-hours instead of the usual three daily eight hours shifts in
W.K. Kellog Company resulted to enhanced employee morale and productivity (Lockwood, 2003). Still, it took the next decades (1980s) for the concept to gain importance with the consideration of certain aspects as job satisfaction, reward systems, physical work environment, worker participation, rights and esteem needs.
Most of them, particularly textiles, cement, bakery, leather, paper manufacturing and many others are all producing with machinery that were procured in the 1960s and 1970s, giving rise to frequent breakdown and reduction in capacity consumption rates (Anyanwu, 2007). Low technology is responsible for the inability of local industry to produce capital goods such as raw materials, spare parts and equipment, the bulk of which are imported.
Low Level of Capacity Utilization Rate: Capacity utilization rate in the manufacturing sector is between 30 and 40 per cent, indicating gross under-utilisation of resources. This has been liable largely on recurrent power outages, lack of funds to procure inputs, fallen demand for manufactures and frequent strikes and lockouts by workers and their employers.
Low savings: Lack of funds has made it hard for firms to make investments in modern machines, information technology and human resources development which are critical in reducing production costs, raising productivity and improving competitiveness. In addition, banks perceive manufacturing as a high risk venture in the Nigerian environment, hence they prefer to lend to low-risk ventures, such as commerce, in which the returns are also very high (Anyanwu, 2007).
High Price of Production: Giving that the introduction of SAP, high and growing cost of production has been recorded by most business organisations as a major limitation on their operations (CBN Business Surveys, 2010). Increased cost, traced mostly to poor performing infrastructural amenities, high interest and exchange rates and diseconomies of scale, has
resulted into increased unit price of manufactures, low effective demand for goods, liquidity squeeze and fallen capacity utilization rates.
Inflation: This can be described as constant increase in the general price level constitutes a discouragement to saving for future use and thereby retards investments and growth. It also encourages speculative activities and diverts resources from productive ventures.
Poor Performing Infrastructure: Poor performance of infrastructural facilities, characterized by frequent disruption in electric power and water supplies and incompetent telecommunication and transportation systems, is a major constraint on productivity. As firms have to invest huge capital to provide alternative infrastructural facilities to run their businesses, enterprises are forced to carry high cost structure which reduces efficiency and results in loss of competitiveness for their products (Anyanwu, 2007).
The individuals who form the human capital of an organization are an integral part of the family in particular and the society in general, and these two parts may be difficult to separate. In today‘s business world, employee performance is a key determinant in the achievement of organizational goals. As a result, organizations look for different and modern ways of motivating their employees, in order for them to give their best to the organization. One of these ways is recognizing that the heart is as good an asset, as the head of the employee.
Since home is where the heart is, organizations, especially in the developed economies, are beginning to realize that employee welfare transcends the work environment and extends to the homes and families of employees (Azeem and Akhtar, 2014). Such sayings as east, west, north and south, home is the best; charity begins at home; and even Igbo sayings such as ―ana e si n’ulo ama mma puta iro” . emphasize the influence of the family and home on the work-life of the employee. Also, studies indicate that when workers come from happy homes, the work environment tends to be conflict free (Kotter, 2001; Eby, Casper, Lockwood, Bordeanx and Brindley, 2005).
However, discovering an appropriate balance between work and life is a challenge for both employer and employees in an organization. Work-Life Balance (WLB) is a very important phenomenon that is of great concern to various employees in both private and public sectors (Orogbu, Onyeizugbe and Chukwuemeke, 2015). It goes beyond prioritizing the work role and one‘s personal life; and also affects the social, psychological, economic and mental wellbeing of the individual.
The term gained importance in the late 1960s due to concerns about the effects of work on the general wellbeing of employees (Maurya, Singh, Reddy, Singh, Maurya and Arora, 2015) Karatepe & Tekinkus, 2006 reveal that employers‘ concern was on work design and working conditions improvement until the mid-1970s. In this period, study on working mothers and dual earner families came into light as women‘s contribution grew significantly in the workforce (Lewis, Gambles &Rappaport, 2007).
Rappaport and Bailyn (1996) studied how in the agrarian societies, work and family were closer to each other and how the industrial revolution in the 18th and the 19th century created a divide between work and personal life, and further how electricity and machines made mass production possible which essentially meant setting up of factories away from home. Their research studied segmentation of work and family life due to movement of work away from home/family to the factories and cities. Also, their study covered a limited scope of work-life balance as it was primarily concerned with work and its impact on family and did not relate work to its impact on other aspects of life.
Still, theirs was a significant beginning and more research followed soon as prior to then, ‗work‘ and ‗family‘ were primarily treated as separate segments (Blunsdon, Blyton, Reed and Dastmalchian, 2006). Interdependence of ‗work‘ and ‗family‘ was highlighted by Kanter (1977) who decked aspects of work affecting family life and aspects of family life touching work.
During the same time, Pleck (1977) analyzed work-family role system as a compilation of male work role, female work role, male family role and female family role. He further stated that
women knowledge spill-over from family role into work role and men experience spill-over from work role into family role. Much of this development is alluded to changing demographic makeup of the workforce, changing social roles, the changing responsibilities of organizations and legislative pressure. This is illustrated by the increasing number of women in the workforce wishing to combine family and work responsibilities.
An ageing workforce became another demographic factor which raised the importance of the work-life balance discourse for older employees who may wish to remain at work, but work less hours or different change patterns. Maurya et al (2015) argue that the most popular reason employers introduce work-life balance policies were recruitment and retention..