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The differences between humans and mobile devices as border crossers which let employees switch between work-and private life : An explorative survey study investigating the influence on work pressure, social pressure, autonomy, availability and multitasking and their relationship with work-life balance.

Dijkhuis, L.T.L. (2019) The differences between humans and mobile devices as border crossers which let employees switch between work-and private life : An explorative survey study investigating the influence on work pressure, social pressure, autonomy, availability and multitasking and their relationship with work-life balance.

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Abstract:Background: In recent years, the concept of work-life balance has been investigated by a lot of researchers. It is a complex concept and with the upswing of different mobile devices, has led to blurring borders between work- and private life. Employees and organizations have a lack of knowledge about what the rapid changes of mobile devices will cause and how it can influence the work-life balance of employees. An imbalanced work- and private life has not only negative effects on an organization but also on the employee itself. It is therefore important to gain more knowledge about this topic and how mobile devices could influence work-life balance differently than humans could do. Objective: The objective of this research was to investigate the influence of humans on the one hand and mobile devices on the other hand on work-life balance. The Border Theory is hereby used as a theoretical foundation. The Border Theory shows how humans can function as border crossers. This study gives insight into how and if not only humans, but also mobile devices functioning as border crossers to let employees switch between their work- and private life. Method: An online survey has been conducted with a total of 234 respondents of different organizations. The independent variables were work pressure, social pressure, autonomy, availability and multitasking. All variables are studied in the context where humans and mobile devices function as border crossers. Two scenarios are used to study the variables; one in which humans functioned as border crossers and one in which mobile devices functioned as border crossers. Results: Both scenario’s had the same explained variance of around 34%. Only work pressure was found to be significant on work-life balance in both scenario’s. Work pressure appeared to be the strongest predictor of perceived work-life balance, in both the scenario in which humans functioned as border crosser and the scenario in which mobile devices functioned as border crosser. Employees experienced a higher work pressure and less work-life balance when they used mobile devices in comparison to the scenario where humans functioned as border crossers. Conclusion: This study shows that when mobile devices are involved, employees experience a higher work pressure then when humans function as border crossers. A potentially interesting inquiry for future research would be to investigate the use of mobile devices with an organizational learning perspective. Even though employees may think that they have control about their work-life balance, they are still vulnerable to mobile devices to make them imbalance their work-life balance. It is a learning process for all employees and employers, not only now but also in the future.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/77087
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