University of Twente Student Theses


Internet Multitasking in the Workplace: Motives and Coping Strategies

Vregelaar, R.M. ten (2019) Internet Multitasking in the Workplace: Motives and Coping Strategies.

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Abstract:The rise of the internet and the availability of media and other digital solutions have given way to internet multitasking: the combination of any activity with at least one internet induced activity. This is not only visible in everyday life; it has become the standard on the job. However, when cognitive activities are undertaken multitasking is not feasible. It interrupts the normal workflow, results in less concentration and it decreases the ability to filter out irrelevant information while it increases task completion time. Consequently, these effects can even negatively impact stress and anxiety levels. This study set out to research the motives for internet multitasking in a cognitive context where the negative effects are most severe. Furthermore, research is conducted on strategies to manage internet multitasking in this specific context. Data is collected by means of 14 semi-structured interviews with Dutch knowledge workers. Results show seven motives for internet multitasking in a cognitive context; curiosity, reachability, fear of missing something important, habit, relaxing and seeking information. Additionally, coping strategies to manage internet multitasking in the cognitive context have been uncovered. These can be divided into three categories; technological tools, planning strategies, and work environment strategies. Motives and strategies seem to be linked and strategies are advised to be used complementary. Future research is invited to study motives and strategies in different contexts and for different job types. Furthermore, strategies remain an underexplored part of the literature on internet multitasking and offer an opportunity to further develop these strategies in the future.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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