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This study seeks to disentangle the effect of polychronicity on work–home conflict, home–work conflict, and life satisfaction, by evaluating mindfulness as a moderator. We propose that mindfulness moderates the relationship between polychronicity and work–home and home–work conflict such that the relationship will be negative when mindfulness is high and positive when mindfulness is low. Additionally, we propose that mindfulness moderates the relationship between polychronicity and life satisfaction such that the relationship will be positive when mindfulness is high and negative when mindfulness is low. A total of 138 academics throughout India completed measures of polychronicity, mindfulness, life satisfaction, and work-to-home and home-to-work conflict scales. The moderation findings illustrate that higher levels of mindfulness enhance the effects of polychronicity.
Mindful Polychronicity 1
Mindful Multitasking: Disentangling the Effect of Polychronicity
on Work-Home Conflict and Life Satisfaction
This study seeks to disentangle the effect of polychronicity on work-home conflict,
home-work conflict, and life satisfaction, by evaluating mindfulness as a moderator. We propose
that mindfulness moderates the relationship between polychronicity and work-home and home-
work conflict such that the relationship will be negative when mindfulness is high and positive
when mindfulness is low. Additionally, we propose that mindfulness moderates the relationship
between polychronicity and life satisfaction such that the relationship will be positive when
mindfulness is high and negative when mindfulness is low. A total of 138 academics throughout
India completed Slocombe and Bluedorn's (1999) polychronicity scale, Brown and Ryan’s
(2003) mindfulness attention and awareness scale, Diener et al.’s (1985) life satisfaction scale,
and Netemeyer et al.’s (1996) work-to-home and home-to-work conflict scales. We tested for
moderation effects using Hayes' (2013) PROCESS macro. Findings illustrate that higher levels
of mindfulness enhance the effects of polychronicity.
Keywords: polychronicity; mindfulness: work-home conflict; home-work conflict; life
Mindful Polychronicity 2
In today’s complex world, there is intense pressure to multitask to get everything done at
work (Appelbaum, Marchionni, & Fernandez, 2008) and at home (Ophir, Nass, & Wagner,
2009). Polychronicity – the preference for working on multiple tasks at the same time – might be
beneficial in such an environment because it enables individuals to accomplish more in less time
(Bluedorn, Kalliath, Strube, & Martin, 1999). However, a lack of sustained effort can perpetuate
mistakes and reduce the quality of work done (Weißbecker-Klaus, Ullsperger, Freude, &
Schapkin, 2017). To reconcile the conflicting findings of polychronicity research, we evaluate
trait-based mindfulness; the tendency to be attentive to and aware of what is taking place in the
present (Brown & Ryan, 2003). We propose that mindful multitasking facilitates decreased work-
home conflict and increased life satisfaction. This research contributes to polychronicity research
by offering a contingency perspective of the effects of multitasking. This research also
contributes to workplace mindfulness research by offering insight regarding the “being versus
doing” paradox (Lyddy & Good, 2017). The key question being, how is it possible to be
productive (doing) while doing nothing other than being present (being)?
Hypothesis Development
Multitasking is stressful (Voydanoff, 2005) and can lead to low-quality task completion
(Weißbecker-Klaus et al., 2017) at work and home. Aligning with prior work (Kubicek &
Tement, 2016), we suggest that multitasking is associated with work-home conflict in both
directions. Specifically, we evaluate how non-work (e.g., family, home) stressors carryover to
interference with work (i.e.., home-work conflict) and how work stressors carryover to
interference with non-work (work-home conflict) (Sanz‐Vergel, Rodríguez‐Muñoz, & Nielsen,
2015). We suggest that mindful multitasking might mitigate work-home and home-work conflict.
Mindfulness ensures that individuals conduct tasks in ways that are calm, organized, and
Mindful Polychronicity 3
intentional (Good et al., 2016). Although some recent research suggests that mindfulness may
impair task motivation (Hafenbrack & Vohs, 2018), it has also been shown that mindfulness
facilitates improved self-regulation (Glomb, Yang, Bono, & Duffy, 2011). Thus, mindful
individuals might have a higher likelihood of juggling tasks in ways that are efficient and
productive (Dust, 2015). Additionally, mindfulness has been linked to improved working
memory (Good et al., 2016), which is associated with effective multitasking (König, Bühner, &
Mürling, 2005). We therefore propose:
Hypothesis 1: Mindfulness moderates the relationship between polychronicity and (a)
work-home conflict and (b) home-work conflict such that the relationship will be
negative when mindfulness is high and positive when mindfulness is low.
Individuals with a higher sense of control over their lives (Hofmann, Luhmann, Fisher,
Vohs, & Baumeister, 2014) and their time (Erdogan, Bauer, Truxillo, & Mansfield, 2012) have
higher life satisfaction. While polychronic individuals low in mindfulness may take on more
tasks than they can handle, polychronic individuals high in mindfulness have an enhanced
capacity to self-regulate and maintain a sense of control (Dust, 2015; Glomb et al., 2011), which
might facilitate higher life satisfaction. We therefore propose:
Hypothesis 2: Mindfulness moderates the relationship between polychronicity and life
satisfaction such that the relationship will be positive when mindfulness is high and
negative when mindfulness is low.
Sample and Procedure1
Our sample consists of faculty members at Universities throughout India. A description of
the study and survey link was sent using an academic ListServ database. The description stated
1 Data and procedures for this study are available at:
Mindful Polychronicity 4
that: (a) the researchers were interested in how employees integrate work and non-work; (b) the
survey would last approximately seven minutes; (c) the responses would be anonymous and
confidential, and (d) the data would only be reported as overall trends. Participation was
voluntary and respondents did not receive any form of compensation. We received a total of 214
cases. We excluded a total of 70 cases where the respondent was only employed part-time. We
also excluded 6 cases where the respondent did not complete one or more of the study variables.
Thus, the final sample consisted of 1382 full-time employees who were predominantly male
(71%) with a mean age of 35.51 years, an average of 5.16 years of experience with their current
Participants first completed Slocombe and Bluedorn's (1999) five-item polychronicity
scale (α = .753; sample item: I like to juggle several activities at the same time), then Brown and
Ryan’s (2003) 15-item mindfulness attention and awareness scale (α = .93; sample item: I find
myself preoccupied with the future or the past (reverse coded)), then Netemeyer et al's. (1996)
five-item work-to-home conflict (α = .93; sample item: The demands of my work interfere with
my home and family life), and five-item home-to-work conflict (α = .89; sample item: I have to
put off doing things at work because of demands on my time at home) scales, and finally Diener
et al.’s (1985) five-item life satisfaction scale (α = .80; sample item: I am satisfied with my life).
For all scales participants responded using a seven-point response scale ranging from 1 =
Strongly Disagree to 7 = Strongly Agree. Information was collected for the number of years the
employee had worked for their current employer, whether the participant was married (69%), and
2 Given assumptions of a moderate anticipated effect size (i.e., .15), .80 statistical power, .05 probability level, and
five predictors (polychronicity, mindfulness, and three covariates), an a priori power analyses suggested obtaining a
minimum of 91 cases.
3 Reported Cronbach alphas are specific to this study.
Mindful Polychronicity 5
the number of children under 18 years old (mean = .63) to account for circumstances potentially
affecting the work-family interface.
To test our hypotheses, we used Hayes' (2013) PROCESS macro, which gives a statistical
significance test of the direct effect of polychronicity on each of the dependent variables at
various levels of the mindfulness (see Table 1). The analyses entail regressing each of the
dependent variables on polychronicity, mindfulness, the polychronicity x mindfulness interaction
term, and the covariates (i.e., tenure, married, number of children). The polychronicity x
mindfulness interaction was statistically significant for work-home conflict (b = -.161, t = -1.76,
p = .081), home-work conflict (b = -.19, t = -2.06, p = .042), and life satisfaction (b = .191, t =
2.57, p = .011). For work-home conflict, when mindfulness was above the mean, the effect of
polychronicity was negative, and this negative effect was strengthened as mindfulness increased
(+1 SD: b = -.353, p = .003; +2 SD: b = -.551, p = .008). Alternatively, as mindfulness fell below
the mean the effect of polychronicity was negative and not significant (-1 SD: b = .045, p = .
809). Similarly, for home-work conflict, the effect of polychronicity was negative and
statistically significant at higher levels of mindfulness (+1 SD: b = -.214, p = .068; +2 SD: b =
-.442, p = .030), and positive and not statistically significant at lower levels of mindfulness (-1
SD: b = .244, p = .185). For life satisfaction, the effect of polychronicity was positive and
statistically significant at very high levels of mindfulness (+1.5 SD: b = .226, p = .078; +2 SD: b
= .344, p = .040), and negative and statistically significant at lower levels of mindfulness (-1 SD:
b = -.360, p = .018; -2 SD: b = .595, p = .012).
We proposed that the relationship between polychronicity and work-home conflict and
Mindful Polychronicity 6
home-work conflict would be negative when mindfulness was high and positive when
mindfulness was low. Similarly, we proposed that the relationship between polychronicity and
life satisfaction would be positive when mindfulness was high and negative when mindfulness
was low. While the level of mindfulness did not dictate the direction of the relationships,
mindfulness did act as a moderating variable. Our findings show that at higher levels of
mindfulness the negative relationship between polychronicity and work-home and home-work
conflict was enhanced, but was neutralized at lower levels of mindfulness. Additionally, at higher
levels of mindfulness the positive relationship between polychronicity and life satisfaction was
enhanced, but was neutralized at lower levels of mindfulness. These findings extend
polychronicity research, highlighting mindfulness as a critical boundary condition. The findings
suggest that polychronicity can indeed be helpful, but only when multitasking is done mindfully.
These findings suggest an important consideration for scholars interested in polychronicity; that
individuals differ with respect to how they multitask. While some individuals might multitask
with skill and efficiency, enabling them to satisfy the demands of work, non-work, and life,
others might do so in ways that are counterproductive. This research also contributes to
mindfulness at work literature, highlighting a specific context whereby being and doing are not
adversaries, but capacities that act in concert (Lyddy & Good, 2017). Past research typically
takes a state-based perspective, arguing the merits of being versus doing as it relates to task
performance. This research takes a trait-based perspective, illustrating that individuals’ day-to-
day tendencies and preferences as it relates to being and doing affect the interface between work
and non-work. Practically speaking, these findings highlight yet another context in which
mindfulness training is beneficial: in efficiently managing the interrole conflict stemming from
work and non-work.
Mindful Polychronicity 7
Specific to limitations and future research, although common method bias is less of a
concern in moderation analyses (Siemsen, Roth, & Oliveira, 2010), future research might
consider longitudinal investigations. Additionally, we measure polychronicity, a trait-based
preference for multitasking, which is not the same as episodes of multitasking. Future research
might employ experiments or dairy studies to evaluate whether moment-to-moment multitasking
and mindfulness interact to increase satisfaction with work-home issues. Lastly, our findings
might be influenced by the ordering of variables within the survey. The order of the variables
was polychronicity, then mindfulness, then work-home conflict and home-work conflict, and
finally life satisfaction. Ordering is unlikely to affect trait-based scales (McCrae, Kurtz,
Yamagata, & Terracciano, 2011), such as polychronicity and mindfulness. However, there might
have been a priming effect when asking participants to first rate work-home and home-work
conflict and then rate life satisfaction. To limit such ordering effects, future research might
consider a scale counterbalancing procedure (Christensen, Johnson, & Turner, 2007).
Mindful Polychronicity 8
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Mindful Polychronicity 11
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Mindful Polychronicity 12
Table 1. Bootstrap Analyses of the Moderating Effects of Mindfulness on the relationships between
Polychronicity and Work-Home Conflict, Home-Work Conflict, and Life Satisfaction.
Work-Home Conflict Home-Work Conflict Life Satisfaction
Mindfulness Effect SE pEffect SE pEffect SE p
-2.0 SD .243 .288 .400 .472 .284 .098 -.595 .234 .012
-1.5 SD .144 .236 .542 .358 .232 .125 -.477 .191 .014
-1.0 SD .045 .186 .809 .244 .183 .185 -.360 .151 .018
-0.5 SD -.055 .141 .699 .130 .139 .352 -.243 .114 .035
Mean -.154 .107 .154 .015 .106 .886 -.126 .087 .151
+0.5 SD -.253 .097 .011 -.099 .096 .304 -.008 .079 .917
+1.0 SD -.353 .118 .003 -.214 .116 .068 .109 .096 .255
+1.5 SD -.452 .157 .005 -.328 .155 .034 .226 .127 .078
+2.0 SD -.551 .204 .008 -.442 .201 .030 .344 .166 .040
Note. N = 138. SE = Standard Error; SD =standard deviation.
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... 28 Public higher skilled in mindfulness may lessen the threat linked to Covid-19 and PD. 30 The conceptualization in light of the argument that the attention and awareness component of mindfulness, which we tag as mindfulness herein, for parsimony offers valuable and significant protection against difficult situations. 31,32 Our argument for the buffering role of mindfulness also is consistent with conservation of resources theory (COR), which predicts that the extent to which employees suffer from resource-draining situations is contingent on their access to this specific personal resource. 27,33 The research on mental stress and leadership by Birkeland et al 34 shows an effect on performance after other distressing incidents of a health emergency. ...
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Purpose: This study aims to investigate the impact of servant leadership on the psychological distress of healthcare staff during the Covid-19 crisis. The authors propose that work engagement mediates and mindfulness moderates the direct relationship between servant leadership and psychological distress. Methods: Time-lagged data were collected from 277 healthcare staff working at different hospitals in Pakistan. Process Macro version 3.1 on SPSS 23 was used for statistical analysis. For model fitness, we used AMOS V 22. Results: The results show that servant leadership is negatively related to psychological distress. Furthermore, work engagement mediates the relationship between servant leadership and psychological distress. Moreover, mindfulness is anticipated to moderate the direct relationship between servant leadership and psychological distress, drawing on the social exchange and conservation of resources theory. Discussion: This study finds that servant leadership is vital for the mental health of healthcare staff. Thus, it extends the utility of the concept of servant leadership to the psychology and crisis management literature.
... However, the impact of polychronicity on nonwork related outcomes has not been studied in detail. In a study of effect of mindfulness and polychronicity on work-home conflict and life satisfaction, Weintraub, Pattusamy and Dust (2018) reported that mindfulness enhanced the effect of polychronicity on life satisfaction. ...
Building upon leadership literature and boundary theory, this study examined how the transformational and transactional leadership behaviors and polychronicity impact the boundaries we maintain around our work and home domains. Polychronicity refers to an individual’s preference for doing several things at a time. Survey data was collected from 419 participants and analyzed through PLS-SEM modeling. Results showed that employees who were high in polychronicity, as well those whose supervisors exhibited transactional leadership, had relatively weak boundaries around their work and home. Individuals high in polychronicity were seen to have higher life satisfaction. Transformational leadership of the supervisor was found to be positively associated with life satisfaction of the employee. Further, weak boundaries at work were positively associated with life satisfaction. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.
Background: Despite the increasing body of research on workplace incivility, the relationship between co-worker/supervisor incivilities and job-affective well-being have received relatively little consideration from the scholars. This study investigates the impact of polychronicity on nurses' psychological well-being in the healthcare sector. Objective: According to COR theory, this study's main objective is to investigate the impact of two aspects of incivilities, co-worker, and supervisor incivilities, as the moderating effect on the relationship between polychronicity and job-affective psychological well-being. Methods: The sample data was collected from 260 nurse's staff who were working in hospitals. The proposed model hypothesis was tested through SPSS-Amos-structural equation modeling. Results: The result shows that polychronic nurses show high job engagement and job performance in a hospital environment. This study's findings revealed that co-workers and supervisors' higher incivility weakens the positive relationship between polychronicity and job-affective well-being. Conclusion: Today, retained the employees are a perilous issue in every organization, especially in hospital sectors, where nurses are working in stressful working environments, facing bullying, harassment, and uncivil behavior from patients' side, co-workers, and supervisor. These types of behaviors are not only affecting employees' well-being, commitment, and job performance but also their mental health and intent to leave. Similarly, the effect on organizational goals, shareholders' value, and progress makes an effective mechanism to control the negative behaviors that would be an apparent advantage for administration and managers to efficiently attain organizational goals.
s This study illuminates one of the critical concerns in organizational research to the extent of polychronicity affecting employees' engagement, job performance (JP), and turnover intention (TI) in the hospitality industry. Based on person-organization fit (Po-Fit theory), the study examines the buffering effects of perceived organizational support (POS) on employees’ work engagement, job performance, and turnover intention. Survey data is collected from 283 respondents of Pakistan three-star and four-star hotels employees and partial least square-structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) is used to assess the proposed hypotheses. The results highlight the mediating role of work engagement that increases the polychronic employees' performance level and decreases their turnover rate. Moreover, the results show that polychronic employees with a high level of POS can handle multitasking and task switching to cope TI. Finally, this study confirms that POS plays a vital role in the hotel industry. Therefore, the management of the hotel should make the right strategy to decrease the employees' turnover intention. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as directions for future research, are defined.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore how polychronicity enables the possibility for nurses to behave in an innovative way through job embeddedness (JE). The notion of polychronicity remained an unexplored topic, especially in healthcare sector. This paper also investigates the moderating role of decentralization. Design/methodology/approach The study is drawn from a survey research based on a cross-sectional design. Data were collected from 117 doctors (supervisors) and their sub-ordinates (576 nurses) from public sector hospitals. To analyze the relationship among variables, this study used descriptive, correlation and hierarchical multiple-regression approach. Findings Results showed that polychronic behavior of nurses positively affects their innovative work behaviors (IWB). Furthermore, JE acts as a bridge in the relationship of polychronicity and IWB. Moreover, decentralization strengthens the relationship between polychronicity and IWB. Originality/value This research significantly contributes to existing literature by adding new knowledge about the positive impact of polychronicity on IWB. Moreover, this study adds to literature by analyzing the mediating role of JE in the relationship between polychronicity and IWB.
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A state of mindfulness is characterized by focused, nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment. The current research experimentally investigated how state mindfulness influences task motivation and performance, using multiple meditation inductions, comparison conditions, tasks, and participant samples. Mindfulness inductions, relative to comparison conditions, reduced motivation to tackle mundane tasks (Experiments 1-4) and pleasant tasks (Experiment 2). Decreased future focus and decreased arousal serially mediated the demotivating effect of mindfulness (Experiments 3 and 4). In contrast to changes in motivation, inducing a state of mindfulness did not affect task performance, as seen in all experiments but one (Experiments 2-5). Meta-analyses of motivation and performance experiments, including unreported findings (i.e., the file drawer), supported these conclusions. Experiment 5’s serial mediation showed that mindfulness enabled people to detach from stressors, which improved task focus. When combined with mindfulness’s demotivating effects, these results help explain why mindfulness does not alter performance.
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Mindfulness at work has drawn growing interest as empirical evidence increasingly supports its positive workplace impacts. Yet theory also suggests that mindfulness is a cognitive mode of “Being” that may be incompatible with the cognitive mode of “Doing” that undergirds workplace functioning. Therefore, mindfulness at work has been theorized as “being while doing,” but little is known regarding how people experience these two modes in combination, nor the influences or outcomes of this interaction. Drawing on a sample of 39 semi-structured interviews, this study explores how professionals experience being mindful at work. The relationship between Being and Doing modes demonstrated changing compatibility across individuals and experience, with two basic types of experiences and three types of transitions. We labeled experiences when informants were unable to activate Being mode while engaging Doing mode as Entanglement, and those when informants reported simultaneous co-activation of Being and Doing modes as Disentanglement. This combination was a valuable resource for offsetting important limitations of the typical reliance on the Doing cognitive mode. Overall our results have yielded an inductive model of mindfulness at work, with the core experience, outcomes, and antecedent factors unified into one system that may inform future research and practice.
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In this chapter, we argue that state and trait mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices in the workplace should enhance employee outcomes. First, we review the existing literature on mindfulness, provide a brief history and definition of the construct, and discuss its beneficial effects on physical and psychological health. Second, we delineate a model of the mental and neurobiological processes by which mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices improve self-regulation of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, linking them to both performance and employee well-being in the workplace. We especially focus on the power of mindfulness, via improved self-regulation, to enhance social relationships in the workplace, make employees more resilient in the face of challenges, and increase task performance. Third, we outline controversies, questions, and challenges that surround the study of mindfulness, paying special attention to the implications of unresolved issues for understanding the effects of mindfulness at work. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our propositions for organizations and employees and offer some recommendations for future research on mindfulness in the workplace.
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Mindfulness—present moment attention and awareness (Brown & Ryan, 2003)—is commonly proposed as a productive state of consciousness in the workplace. Unfortunately, being mindful at every moment of the workday is fairly uncommon. Research suggests that people engage in mind wandering —a lack of attention to and awareness of the present (Smallwood & Schooler, 2006)—for the majority of their day (in every task except making love; Killingsworth & Gilbert, 2010). Further, there is another state of consciousness called flow —an intense sense of concentration and control over activities—that has also been linked to workplace performance (Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi, 2002). Interestingly, whereas mindfulness facilitates higher performance by being aware of external stimuli, flow enables higher performance by doing the opposite—blocking out external stimuli. These findings suggest that mindfulness is neither the most common psychological state nor the only productive psychological state for the workplace.
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Mindfulness research activity is surging within organizational science. Emerging evidence across multiple fields suggests that mindfulness is fundamentally connected to many aspects of workplace functioning, but this knowledge base has not been systematically integrated to date. This review coalesces the burgeoning body of mindfulness scholarship into a framework to guide mainstream management research investigating a broad range of constructs. The framework identifies how mindfulness influences attention, with downstream effects on functional domains of cognition, emotion, behavior, and physiology. Ultimately these domains impact key workplace outcomes, including performance, relationships, and well-being. Consideration of the evidence on mindfulness at work stimulates important questions and challenges key assumptions within management science, generating an agenda for future research.
Two studies examined the main and interactive effects of work intensification and work-home segmentation (WHS) on work-to-home conflict (WHC) and enrichment (WHE). In Study 1 (N = 201), work intensification was positively related to WHC and negatively related to WHE. Moreover, WHS, assessed as an organizational supply, was associated with less WHC and reduced the negative relation between work intensification and WHE. In Study 2 (N = 169), these findings were partially replicated: work intensification and WHS, assessed as a boundary management strategy, were related to WHC. In terms of interactive effects, work intensification was associated with more time-based WHC and less WHE-development in the case of work-home integration but with more WHE affect in the case of WHS.
Abstract: Neuronal mechanisms of error processing under multitasking and their impact on the processing of a concurrent task were examined. Twenty-one younger and twenty older healthy adults performed a visual-motor flanker task or an auditory-vocal semantic task or both tasks simultaneously. During task performance the electroencephalogram (EEG) was continuously recorded. The event-related potential (ERP) was derived from the EEG, and ERP components associated with error processing (Ne and Pe) and semantic processing (N400) were analyzed. Older participants responded more slowly than younger ones in the flanker task regardless of the multitasking condition, while accuracy was equal in both groups. In the flanker task, multitasking led to an increase of error rates, a reduction of reaction times, and a disappearance of post-error slowing (PES). Error detection (Ne) was delayed and error awareness (Pe) attenuated in the single flanker task relative to the multitasking condition. In the semantic task, multitasking led to an increase of reaction times and a delay of the N400 in particular when an error in the flanker task occurred. First, these results indicate that multitasking impaired error processing, in particular conscious error perception (Pe) and abolished post-error adjustments of performance (PES) which may have resulted in a more risky response tendency in the flanker task. Second, multitasking impaired semantic processing, in particular after an error in the concurrent flanker task. Hence, multitasking compromised error processing and error prevention in one of the tasks, and semantic processing in the other task. Consequently, multitasking should be avoided at workplaces with error-prone job assignments or where poor understanding of communication may have serious consequences. Keywords: multitasking, error, aging, post-error slowing, event-related potential