Using Mobile Device at Home for Work Can Lead to Work-Life Conflict for Each Partner

New research finds that using a mobile device at home for work purposes has negative implications for the employee’s work life and also their spouse.

Dr. Wayne Crawford, assistant professor of management at the University of Texas at Arlington teamed with four other authors on the study, recently published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

The researchers surveyed 344 married couples with all participants working full time and using mobile devices or tablets at home for work purposes.

“There is plenty of research on technology and how it affects employees,” Crawford said. “We wanted to see if this technology use carried over to affect the spouse negatively at work.”

The couples’ survey results showed that use of a mobile device during family time resulted in 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.┬áSo, 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.”

Dr. Abdul Rasheed, chair of the Department of Management at UTA, said Crawford’s work is illuminating for businesses.

“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.”

Source: University of Texas at Arlington