Internet use linked to excessive work

People who are feeling under pressure and overloaded at work may be using the internet compulsively in their free time as a coping mechanism.

That is the finding of research being presented today at our Division of Occupational Psychology's Annual Conference in Brighton.

Dr Cristina Quinones-Garcia of Northampton Business School and Professor Nada Korac-Kakabadse of Henley Business School asked 516 18 to 65-year-olds - both employed and unemployed - to complete questionnaires to assess their emotional stability, workload, life satisfaction and compulsive internet usage.

More than 60 per cent of participants said they use the internet compulsively and this was strongly linked to working excessively, even when emotional stability was taken into account.

Interestingly, although the unemployed spent more time online, they did not show the same addictive tendencies as those in work - and compulsive internet use led to measurable withdrawal symptoms.

Dr Quinones-Garcia and Professor Korac-Kakabadse warned that affected individuals could be at risk of developing isolation, depression and anxiety and urged employers not to underestimate the risks of a culture that promotes excessive working.

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