‘What strategies do professionals use in their day-to-day management of their work and personal commitments through the use of both personal and professional technology’.
Remote working during Covid-19 has impacted individuals in different ways.
Some studies show that individuals used a range of strategies to manage their work-home boundaries during the time of lockdowns, while others find that such segmentation strategies may have been abandoned altogether among some working parents.
Since then, hybrid working has become a new norm for many professionals and many businesses are continuing flexible working arrangements.
This study aims to understand how professionals use technology to manage their professional and personal responsibilities and the strategies they use to delineate their work and home boundaries. There is little research in this area at present.
This project is affiliated with the University of Buckingham and there are no funding partners associated with this research. The results of this study can be beneficial to inform practices by organisational psychologists, HR professionals, managers or workers themselves by highlighting how individuals manage their work- and home-based technology in the pursuit of maintaining a better work-life balance.
This research has received ethics approval from the University of Buckingham.
If you would like to be involved or would like a copy of the final research report, please get in touch and we will message you directly with the details.
The MSc research was conducted during the first Lockdown of 2020 (Spring and early Summer of 2020) when both knowledge worker parents and their children were told to ‘stay at home’. Full-time working parents were expected to navigate the challenges of Working from Home and simultaneously home-schooling their children.
The research aim was to understand how full-time knowledge worker parents layered their personal and professional technology use during this time, and what impact this had on their stress anxiety and levels of potential burnout.
Creative ability has long been associated with the Openness personality type, but no research, to date, had been conducted on the link between personality type and the ability to think laterally. Lateral Thinking abilities are highly prized skills in corporate settings to help in problem resolution.
Other Academic Research Summaries
Research on the impact of technology on human behaviour and psychology in the workplace has been conducted in a number of different academic disciplines, across a variety of countries and within different industrial/organisational contexts.
The research featured here may be directly or indirectly psychologically or behaviourally related to the use of technology by ‘knowledge workers’ (i.e. those who use technology to produce knowledge-based assets for profit or non-profit organisations). It
The summaries below highlight, in one way or another, the impact of when, why and how technology is used in our general ‘work, home and play’ – from a psychological and behavioural perspective.
Work-Home Boundary Blurring
The boundaries that we create between work and home can be compared to a ‘mental fence’ that divides two differing life roles. Like any physical geographic boundary, this fence can have varying degrees of permeability and cross-over-ability. This research looks at the active management of temporal, spatial and relational boundaries between work and home.
Hybrid, Remote and Flexible Working Culture, Policies and Practices
Autonomy, Flexibility and Job Control
Productivity, Attention and Impact on Work
Previous research has shown that using a phone can be distracting while multi-tasking, such as while walking or driving. Recent research has even shown that the simple presence of a phone (e.g. placed on a table), with all the connections and networks that it represents, can distract from in-person physical social interactions and connections. This research goes a step further to investigate the distracting capability of mobile phones while performing tasks that require greater cognitive demands within the workplace (and in education).
This research explores ‘the adherence to organisational information security and the role of work-related and individual factors such as individuals’ perceived control within the workplace, their commitment to current work identity, and the extent to which they are reconsidering commitment to work.’
Academic Research Resources
The British Psychology CyberPsychology Section are a wealth of academic-based resources and recommendations including, but not limited to:
- Book recommendations
- Models, scales and measures
- Teaching resources
Technology, Mind and Behaviour Journal (American Psychology Association Open Access Journal) has joined the Science Open Platform.
‘Technology, Mind, and Behavior (TMB) is an open access, interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal published by the American Psychological Association and launched in 2020. TMB publishes original work in the area of human-technology interaction with a focus on human behavior at the individual or group level.’