Deakin University

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Mobile ICT–Induced informal work in the construction industry: boundary management approaches and consequences

journal contribution
posted on 2021-09-01, 00:00 authored by Abid HasanAbid Hasan, Raufdeen Rameezdeen, Bassam Baroudi, Seungjun Ahn
A healthy work–life balance is paramount for all employees in today’s fiercely competitive and stressful work environments. However, work–life balance can be a challenging goal to achieve for construction management professionals (CMPs), who often work long hours on construction projects. Many recent studies have reported that the adoption of mobile information and communication technologies (mICT) can increase informal work (i.e., during nonwork hours, or after-hours work). However, this topic has not been adequately researched in the context of the construction industry despite a significant increase in the uptake and use of mICT in construction projects in recent years. This paper reports on findings from 27 in-depth semistructured interviews conducted to examine CMPs’ use of mICT in the Australian construction industry. The interview data on work-related non-work-hours use of mICT were analyzed focusing on how CMPs manage boundaries between work and life, given that the use of mICT has added to the amount of informal work. The findings showed that there is a lack of consensus among CMPs as to how to view informal work induced by mICT. The analysis also found that, in the absence of relevant organizational policies and guidelines, work–life boundary management approaches taken by individual CMPs vary substantially and largely determine the extent of their mICT usage for work during nonwork hours and its implications for their work and life. In addition, this study explains variability in the permeability of work–life boundaries based on three factors: individual behavioral characteristics, work attitude, and job factors. Understanding the different factors that determine CMPs’ use of mICT during nonwork hours and associated informal work can provide valuable insights into how to address its negative implications at the individual, team, company, and industry levels.



Journal of construction engineering and management






1 - 12


American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)


Reston, Va.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal