Original Research

Exploring the impact of information and communication technology on employees’ work and personal lives

Wihan de Wet, Eileen Koekemoer, Jan Alewyn Nel
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 42, No 1 | a1330 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v42i1.1330 | © 2016 Wihan de Wet, Eileen Koekemoer, Jan Alewyn Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 November 2015 | Published: 14 June 2016

About the author(s)

Wihan de Wet, WorkWell Research Unit, North-West University, South Africa
Eileen Koekemoer, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Jan Alewyn Nel, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Technology has become part of society’s everyday functioning, changing rapidly and providing widespread mobility. Employees are moving towards a continually connected lifestyle, a situation in which information and communication technology (ICT) seem to have become omnipresent.

Research purpose: The overall objective of this research was to investigate the influence of ICT on employees’ work and personal lives.

Motivation for the study: The impact of ICT on the work and personal lives of employees has never been researched before, which motivated the current study.

Research approach, design and method: A qualitative research design, with a sample of 25 employees, was followed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data, and the interviews were recorded, transcribed, and processed through thematic analyses.

Main findings: Five themes with sub-themes were extracted: The positive and negative experiences of ICT both within the work and personal lives of employees, the increased expectations brought about by ICT usage, and the role of ICT on relationships. Findings highlighted that although ICT are generally perceived as positive, employees should make a conscious decision in managing their ICT to decrease the negative impact thereof on their work and personal lives.

Practical/managerial implications: Overall, the general positive experiences of ICT outweigh the negative experiences, and findings almost suggest that as the quantity of communication increased, the quality of conversations decreased.

Contribution/Value add: This study provides a holistic understanding of the impact of ICT on the work and personal lives of employees.

Keywords: Information and communication technology (ICT); constructivism paradigm; work lives; personal lives; employees


Keywords

Information and communication technology (ICT); constructivism paradigm; work lives; personal lives; employees

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