Work related mobile devices use after work hours recovery and health

Igic, Ivana; Keller, Anita; Semmer, Norbert; Elfering, Achim (12 April 2016). Work related mobile devices use after work hours recovery and health (Unpublished). In: 12th EAOHP Conference - "Occupational Health Psychology in Times of Change: Society and the Workplace". Athens, Greece. 11.04.-13.04.2016.

Objectives: The mobile devices as smartphone and tablets has become the part of the
everyday work life. Despite many benefits they have, there are also potential downsides related
to their use (e.g. blurred bounders between private and work life or impaired recovery). In the
current study, first on a representative sample (N=2844) of Swiss employees, a new scale for
measuring the stressful effects of work related mobile devices use after work hours was
developed ("Work Related Mobile Devices Use as Stressor Scale” (WMD-US).
The scale contained two factors that measure: 1) stressful experience of work-related mobile
use after work, and 2) permanent accessibility during leisure time. Second, we were interested
to see if the use of mobile devices for company purposes during work-free time presents an
additional work-related stressful factor, therefore a) the length of work related mobile device
use after work and b) scores on new WMD-US scale, were used to predict the relevant
outcomes: work-family conflict (WFC), recovery function (rumination, sleep quality), recovery
status (exhaustion) and physical health (psychosomatic complaints). Effects were adjusted for
task-related and social stressors, job resources (job control, social support and appreciation)
and demographic variables (age, gender, percentage of employment and region). Additionally,
the indirect effects from WMD-US through WFC or through rumination on health indicators
were tested. Furthermore, by control of outcome data measured one-year before (n=1562) we
predicted change in outcome variables.
Methods: The present analysis is based on a representative sample (N=2844), as well as two
wave data on the participants were (n=1562) of Swiss employees. Data were analyzed by
ANOVA, Factor Analysis, and Regression Analysis.
Results: The results showed that employees who use mobile devices for work after regular
work hours experience higher levels of WFC and ruminate more often compared to non-users
(ANCOVA). Moreover, hierarchical regression analysis on users showed that, the length of
work-related mobile devices use after work hours, as well as the higher levels on WMD-US
scale, significantly predicted WFC, rumination, and indicators of health, when adjusted for
work-stressors, work-resources and demographic characteristics. The results remain significant
when additionally adjusted for the last-year levels of outcome variables. Rumination and WFC
significantly mediated the relationship between the WDM-US and health complaints in the
longitudinal sample.
Conclusions: The results suggest that work related mobile devices use in private life, may be
an additional stressor that is likely to increase WFC, and challenges recovery (rumination and
sleep quality) and physical health (psychosomatic complaints). A mediation models with WFC
and rumination as mediator variables were supported. Findings point towards work related
smartphone use after work hours and expectations regarding its use that should be
reconsidered. Clearer regulation regarding mobile devices use from the side of employers is
needed. However, when possible the employees should set the limits and rules for their own
use of mobile devices and accessibility.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Igic, Ivana; Keller, Anita; Semmer-Tschan, Norbert and Elfering, Achim


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Ivana Igic

Date Deposited:

12 Jun 2018 11:01

Last Modified:

12 Jun 2018 11:01


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