Working From Your Phone at Home Is Ruining Your Life, Study Finds

Put. It. Down.
January 8, 2018, 12:05am

Welcome back to work, everyone. Work at your actual place of work, that is. Because working at home, on your phone, is not welcome.

Confirming this thing you already felt in your weary bones to be true, researchers have found that using a mobile device at home for "work purposes" has ill effects on your work life—and your long-suffering partner's work life.

Wayne Crawford, an assistant professor of management at the University of Texas, is the co-author (among five) of Your Job Is Messing With Mine! The Impact of Mobile Device Use for Work During Family Time on the Spouse's Work Life, recently published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

Crawford and co surveyed 344 married couples, all of whom worked fulltime and used either phones or tablets at home to do work tasks. The results showed that this naughty activity created tensions in the relationship, which then resulted in both lower job satisfaction and worse job performance—for both parties.

"What [this] ultimately leads to … is trouble at work for both spouses," Crawford writes. "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, points out, businesses should take note. "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 writes. "Businesses have to think about accomplishing tasks more efficiently while people are at work."