The potential for information and communication technologies to reorganize time and space has emerged as a key theme in social theory. Affordances of the Internet mean that it has the capacity to affect temporal and spatial boundaries dividing work and home. Some theorists express concern that this may extend work into times normally reserved for family life, while others argue the Internet can encourage flexible work practices and result in better work—life balance. Focusing on a nationally representative sample of Australian employees, we examine the purpose and timing of Internet use and its role in the interaction between these domains. We demonstrate that the Internet is being used for personal purposes during work time to a greater extent than for work purposes during non-work time. Furthermore, we show that use of the Internet for work purposes outside work hours can assist work—family balance.
- internet use
- work—life interaction