Park, YA, Liu, Y, Headrick, L. When Work is Wanted After Hours: Testing Weekly Stress of Information Communication Technology Demands Using Boundary Theory. J Organ Behav. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.2461

Information communication technologies (ICTs; e.g., smartphones) enable employees to work anywhere and anytime, blurring work and family boundaries. Building on this trend, this study draws from work‐family border/boundary theory to examine antecedents and consequences of employees’ weekly experiences of ICT demands (i.e., being accessible and contacted for work after hours via ICTs). A sample of 546 elementary teachers completed a registration survey and a weekly diary for five weeks. Multilevel modeling results suggest ICT demands as a form of work intrusion in the home can constitute a source of significant weekly strain (i.e., negative rumination, negative affect, insomnia). As border‐crossers, teachers’ adoption of a technological boundary tactic (i.e., keeping work email alerts turned off on mobile phones) was related to lower weekly ICT demands. As important border‐keepers at work, school principals’ work‐family support was related to teachers’ lower weekly ICT demands, whereas parents’ after‐hours boundary expectations were related to teachers’ higher weekly ICT demands. Moreover, teachers’ boundary control was found as a mediating mechanism by which the two border‐keepers influenced teachers’ ICT demands−negative rumination link. That is, teachers who received fewer boundary expectations and/or more work‐family support had greater boundary control, which in turn, buffered the ICT demands‐negative rumination relationship.