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Digital intrusions or distraction at work and work-Life conflict

Farivar, F ORCID: 0000-0001-8413-8143, Esmaeelinezhad, O and Richardson, J 2022 , 'Digital intrusions or distraction at work and work-Life conflict' , New Technology, Work and Employment , pp. 1-18 , doi:

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Internet usage for non-work activities during work hours is an increasingly common concern among management scholars and practitioners as well as for employees, particularly in relation to its impact on work-life conflict and individual well-being. Drawing on memory for goals theory, this study investigates the distinction between digital intrusions and digital interruptions during work and their concomitant impact on work-life conflict. Using a set-theoretic approach to analyse data gathered from information technology (IT) professionals in Germany and Australia, we explain how a 2 * 2 matrix comprising non-work online messaging, or personal digital communication, during work and intrusion contributes to work-life conflict. A key finding is that employees reported work-life conflict only if they perceived private messaging as a source of intrusion rather than as a distraction. From a practical perspective, this finding suggests that employers may provide employees with micro-breaks to attend to perceived intrusions and thus reduce sources of work-life conflict. Contributions and suggestions for future studies are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Farivar, F and Esmaeelinezhad, O and Richardson, J
Keywords: digital distraction, digital intrusion, IT professionals, online messaging, work‐life conflict, work digitalization
Journal or Publication Title: New Technology, Work and Employment
Publisher: Blackwell Publ Ltd
ISSN: 0268-1072
DOI / ID Number:
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© 2022 The Authors. New Technology, Work and Employment published by Brian Towers (BRITOW) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License, ( which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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