Examining the relationship between fear of COVID-19, intolerance for uncertainty, and cyberloafing: A mediational model.J Bus Res. 2022 Jun; 145:660-670.JB
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.