Learn to use the 'off' switch
American researchers reckon that they've identified a clear link between having your mobile phone on all the time and feeling discontented with your family life. They say that the mobile has blurred the line between work life and family life and that family life is suffering.
The study followed more than 1,300 adults over 2 years and found that those who consistently used a mobile phone or pager throughout the study period were more likely to report negative 'spillover' between work and home life -- and, in turn, less satisfaction with their family life.
'Spillover' means that the line between work and home begins to blur. Work life may invade home life - when a parent is taking job-related calls at home, for instance - or household issues (like a child calling the parent at work) may start to take up work time.
Among men, mobile phones seemed to allow more work issues to creep into family time. But for women, the spillover tended to go in both directions -- being 'connected' meant that work cut into home time, and family issues seeped into work life.
Noelle Chesley, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who led the study, told Reuters that mobile phones and pagers seem to be opening more lines for stressful exchanges among family members, rather than positive ones.
She said that to stem the spillover, employers should look at their policies on contacting employees after-hours to make sure their expectations are 'reasonable.'For their part, employees could turn their mobiles off during designated family time
To ease the extra burden on working mothers, she added, parents could have particular days when one or the other is 'on call,' so that mums are not getting all of the reports of school or domestic disasters!
Page created on January 9th, 2006
Page updated on December 1st, 2009