Mobile Device Use at Home May Create Conflict with Spouse, Workplace

Source: Pixabay

By: Marie Donlon

Mobile device use in the home to handle work-related tasks may negatively impact an employee’s spouse and work life, according to the authors of "Your Job Is Messing With Mine! The Impact of Mobile Device Use for Work During Family Time on the Spouse's Work Life."

“There is plenty of research on technology and how it affects employees. We wanted to see if this technology use carried over to affect the spouse negatively at work," said Wayne Crawford, assistant professor of management at University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Business.

From a survey of 344 married couples — all of whom worked full-time and also dealt with work tasks from home using mobile devices — researchers determined that  couples using mobile devices during time meant for family reported lower job satisfaction and lower job performance.

"It's really no surprise that conflict was created when a spouse is using a mobile device at home," Crawford said. "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."

Elaborating on the findings, Abdul Rasheed, chair of the Department of Management said: "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."