This study examines the impact of work-related smartphone use on daily recovery from work-related efforts. The literature shows that work-home interference (WHI) is an important inhibitor of the recovery process. We propose that the extensive use of smartphones with its implicit request of 24/7 availability inhibits the process of engaging in activities that are required for daily recovery. A total of 80 employees (40 smartphone users, 40 controls) completed a 6-day diary questionnaire over a time period of 2 weeks. Contrary to our hypothesis, smartphone users did not experience more overall WHI than nonusers. Furthermore, four activities aimed at recovery were examined. We predicted that daily WHI would increase employees' engagement in recovery activities, but only if they did not use a smartphone. Results showed that, for the control group, WHI was positively related to psychological detachment, relaxation, mastery, and control activities, whereas smartphone users facing high WHI did not succeed in engaging in these recovery activities. This implies that being connected to work in the evening hours through smartphones has consequences for the extent to which employees succeed in undertaking recovery activities.

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European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Department of Psychology

Derks-Theunissen, D.A.J.A, ten Brummelhuis, L, Zecic, A, & Bakker, A.B. (2014). Switching on and off..: Does smartphone use obstruct the possibility to engage in recovery activities?. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 23(1), 80–90. doi:10.1080/1359432X.2012.711013