Digital Work

Digital Work

Always on, always available – the impact of how and why we embrace and manage digital technology in the workplace.

Several factors play into our workplace digital health and wellbeing – determining how we manage and use the gadgets that allow us to earn a living and communicate with others we work with. 

Each of these factors intersects, impacts on and is influenced by (to a greater or lesser degree) each of the other factors – in a way that is unique to us and our professional circumstances. 

The main catalyst and consequence of all these factors is how digital technology encourages and enables the blurring of our boundaries between work and home life.

For some workers, this can be motivational. For others, it is necessary but draining. But for almost all of us digital technology is a catalyst for, or facilitator of, behaviours thoughts and emotions that lead to greater levels of stress, anxiety and the potential for burnout. 

Cybercology Work-Home Boundary Blurring Model (c)

This boundary blurring model is a representation of how these factors intersect and influenceeach other. It was developed from an empirical study of academic research around the implications of technology use in the workplace. 

The outer elements are more physical manifestations of being, that we can either control (DigiTech Use), deliberately put in place (Remote, Hybrid or Flexible Working) or are unique personal traits that are part of who we are (Individual Differences). 

The next layer in reflects the behavioural norms, biases, expectations (Work Norms… & Home Dynamics…), practices (Autonomy, Flexibility and Job Control) and personal infringements (Territoriality) that are associated with external factors that influence how we manage our daily work engagement.

The innermost layer covers the impact of our behaviours, characteristics, focus and expectations that involve or make use of work-based digital technology. 

Right in the centre is the most tell-tale sign of all that we are heading towards work-based stress and burnout – i.e. engaging with our work-related tech when we would prefer, or need, to be having (and therefore sacrificing) me/family/home/playtime.

When we are regularly and systematically blurring the boundaries we have strategically put in place between our work and home lives, we do not achieve the physical, mental and emotional recovery that we need to live a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle. 

Each of the factors within the category of ‘Digital Work’ is explained in a bit more detail in each of the topic areas below.

The motivation behind this work is a very personal one – beginning with a desire to understand how workplace digital technology use can be a strong mitigating factor in workplace stress, anxiety and burnout.

Please note: this work is still Work in Progress and still in a version of a draft phase. I am making it available, as it is about sharing what I have built so far (and I’d appreciate some constructive feedback), rather than holding on to it all until it’s ‘perfect’. 

You can also read the introduction to each section by clicking on the buttons below.

This will also explain how and how the information will finally culminate into a book that co-ordinates, summarises or expands all the information around Digital Work.

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