Hang up! Constant connection, distraction are smart phone impacts on work
This mixed methods study explored use of personal and/or company cell phones by 162 online property managers. Highest effects were for managers who used both types of smartphones. Their connection never ends and can take a toll on the employee, causing burnout and an inability to balance work-life and home-life.
Employees and organizations are continuously engaged in new technologies that allow them to instantly connect to work from different locations and time periods. However, the connection never seems to end. The increase in these new technologies have also increased the amount of time employees spend on work related tasks. The purpose of the sequential explanatory mixed methods study was to understand better the effects personal and company-issued smartphones have on work-life balance of managers who work in the property management industry. This study was aimed to contribute to the literature on smartphones, advanced technology, and work-life balance. An online self-report survey was used to collect the initial quantitative data and semi-structured interviews were used for the qualitative phase to provide an additional understanding. The quantitative phase of the study indicated a statistically significant difference in work-life balance for the three groups. Results from the qualitative phase provided more of an explanation of the results and produced three themes; always connected, obligation, easy and convenient distraction. Findings showed it was perhaps less about the type of smartphone and more about the participants feeling always connected, obligated to answer and respond, and distracted by notifications and its ease of use. Employers and employees can both benefit from the results of this study due to the constant effort to improve employee work-life balance, work-related stress, job satisfaction, and employee turnover, providing a need for the study.
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