Cyberloafing as a coping mechanism: Dealing with workplace boredom

Shani Pindek, Alexandra Krajcevska, Paul E. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Workplace cyberloafing (personal use of the internet during working hours) has been recognized as a form of counterproductive work behavior (CWB) that can harm organizations. In this study, we take an opposing view and argue that cyberloafing can serve a potentially positive function in that it can help employees cope with workplace boredom. We describe a study of the cyberloafing behavior and the experienced underload and boredom of 463 university employees with diverse occupations. Results supported the direct relationships between underload and boredom, and boredom and cyberloafing. The indirect underload-boredom-cyberloafing relationship was also significant. Underload was not correlated with CWB, and the boredom-cyberloafing relationship was significantly stronger than the boredom-CWB relationship. Moreover, comparing competing models supported the suggested direction of the underload-boredom-cyberloafing process, as alternative directions did not fit the data. Together, these findings support the conceptualization of cyberloafing as a boredom coping mechanism rather than a form of CWB and highlight the importance of investigating the impact of underload and boredom on employee behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Cyberloafing
  • Work underload
  • Workplace boredom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology


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