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Doing This At Home Can Hurt Your Career

May 7th, 2019

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It should go without saying (but, alas, it doesn't) that paying more attention to your mobile device than to your family is bad for the relationship. Turns out, it's also bad for your career.

A team of researchers interviewed 344 employed couples who use their phone or other device at home for work. They found that trouble erupts when one partner uses the device during what's supposed to be family time.

"It's really no surprise that conflict was created when a spouse is using a mobile device at home," said Wayne Crawford, assistant professor of management at the University of Texas, and one of 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," published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

It's one thing to take a call during off hours, but doing work during family time with any frequency causes relationship tension that spills over to the workplace, with negative effects on productivity and job satisfaction.

"This tension serves as a crossover mechanism, which then contributes to spouses’ experience of family-to-work conflict and, subsequently, family spills over to work outcomes for the spouse in the form of reduced job satisfaction and performance," says the study.

"So," says Crawford, "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."

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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