Are social media bad for your employees? : effects of at-work break activities on recovery experiences, job satisfaction, and life satisfaction
Despite the alleged importance of work breaks, little is known about antecedents and consequences of social media break activities besides non-social media break activities. Since individuals use social media to contact friends and families, find information, and be entertained, this study theorized that engaging in social media break activities while at work can help employees to experience psychological detachment and relaxation during work hours. The purpose of this study was to explore this growingly popular topic of social media use at work by focusing on job demands that may explain why employees perceive social media are vital for them at work. Further, this study seeks to understand when and how employees use social media at work to experience recovery, which, in turn, increases their job satisfaction and life satisfaction. Questionnaires were collected from current hospitality non-managerial and managerial employees in the United States. Structural equation modeling was employed to analyze data. Results of the study confirm that at-work break activities including social and non-social media break activities can be a channel for employees to experience recovery and deal with job demands. Moreover, the results suggest that when employees reported their perceptions of recovery experiences, positive perceptions had a positive impact on job satisfaction and life satisfaction. The findings also indicate that employees who are happy at work have a high life satisfaction. The results fill an empirical gap in the theoretical literature on at-work break activities and recovery. This study offers further insight and empirical evidence about the positive outcomes of both social and non-social media break activities to researchers, practitioners, and human resource professionals.