Examining the relationship between fear of COVID-19, intolerance for uncertainty, and cyberloafing: A mediational model

Abira Reizer, Bella L. Galperin, Meena Chavan, Abhishek Behl, Vijay Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

After the COVID-19 pandemic began, organizations had to pivot and move to online remote work. As companies moved to digital platforms and technologies for remote working, a key concern was the increase in workplace withdrawal behaviors during the pandemic, including cyberloafing, a form of workplace deviance. Cyberloafing can be described as the action of using the internet for non-work-related activities or personal use during working hours. Given its effect on organizational effectiveness and efficiency, organizations must take measures to minimize cyberloafing. We examined how two factors—fear of COVID-19 and intolerance for uncertainty—were related to cyberloafing during the third lockdown in Israel. A sample of 322 adults who were enrolled in professional courses at a university in Israel were surveyed. Based on Conservation of Resources Theory, our findings suggest that distress significantly mediated the relationship between fear of COVID-19, intolerance for uncertainty, and cyberloafing. In an attempt to deal with the stress and depletion of personal resources during the COVID-19 lockdown, individuals engaged in cyberloafing as a way to handle the stress. Our results suggest that organizations should take measures to reduce fear and uncertainty in order to decrease distress, which, in turn, will reduce cyberloafing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)660-670
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Business Research
Volume145
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Cyberloafing
  • Digital platforms
  • Distress
  • Fear
  • Technology
  • Uncertainty

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