Productivity, Work-Life Balance & Wellbeing

The Paradox of the New Digital Age: Struggling to Get Things Done Despite Being Always-On.

New digital technology permits working at home for many knowledge workers. It also enables 1.3M Britons to work in the 'gig economy', where workers find and arrange work on crowd platforms like Uber. Greater flexibility over when and where work is done comes at a cost: juggling work with other activities and obligations. Constant switching between these different spheres can be overwhelming. For example, opening a laptop to watch Netflix might result in an urgent work message being read, and so disrupting a relaxing evening in. These digital intrusions that result from being always-on can be stressful and lead to burnout, costing the global economy £255bn.

My research addresses: factors that impact getting work done (including task design, and personal task management); being always-on (including dealing with interruptions, and digital work-life boundary management); and digital support for when people are struggling with these (including strategies for managing digital boundaries, interventions to aid focus, dealing with work-related stress through playing games, taking breaks and engaging in physical activity, and supporting self-efficacy).