We all know how hard it is to switch off at night. Technology addiction is a very real thing, and for many it’s completely bloody debilitating. But when work addiction is thrown into the mix, it’s a different beast entirely.
A new study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology has found that using a mobile device at home for “work purposes” has a detrimental impact on your work life, and your your partner’s work life.
New study finds that using a mobile device for work at home can severely screw up your work life and relationships.
Titled Your Job Is Messing With Mine! The Impact of Mobile Device Use for Work During Family Time on the Spouse’s Work Life, the study surveyed 344 incumbents – working men and women who held a full time role and used their phone or tablet to work at home – and their spouses.
The findings were pretty much as you’d expect: mobile device use during “family time” led to conflict increases in relationships, and interestingly, reduced job satisfaction and performance for both the spouse and the incumbent.
“There is plenty of research on technology and how it affects employees,” says Wayne Crawford, assistant professor of management in UTA’s College of Business and one of the five authors of the study. “We wanted to see if this technology use carried over to affect the spouse negatively at work.”
“It’s really no surprise that conflict was created when a spouse is using a mobile device at home,” he continues. “They’re sometimes engaging in work activities during family time. What that ultimately leads to, though, is trouble at work for both spouses. So, whether companies care or don’t care about employees being plugged in, those firms need to know that the relationship tension created by their interaction with their employees during non-work hours ultimately leads to work-life trouble.”
As Abdul Rasheed, chair of the Department of Management at UTA, notes, the study work is highly relevant for businesses, and they should take action.
“That extra time spent on mobile devices after hours might not be worth it if the grief it causes results in productivity losses once the conflict is carried back to work,” Rasheed said. “Businesses have to think about accomplishing tasks more efficiently while people are at work.”
Read the full study here. And for God’s sake, put that shit down at home.