Balancing Boundaries: The Role of Technology Boundary Work in Managing Work-Life Balance

R Fleck, RAV Robison, Anna Cox
in Workshop on Socio-Technical Systems and Work-Home Boundaries, MobileHCI'14, Conference proceeding, MobileHCI'14 Workshop: Socio-Technical Systems and Work-Home Boundaries

Abstract

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) continue to open up new possibilities for helping us manage our many life roles, giving us increased flexibility about when and where we choose to work and the freedom to deal with home tasks whilst at work. However increased use of ICT for work during non-work time has also been linked negatively to wellbeing including lower work and life satisfaction and increased stress. Previous work has suggested that creating boundaries around the use of ICTs at home to separate work from non-work could reduce some of these negative effects. In this paper we find that people use multiple devices (phones, tablets etc.) as a way of creating boundaries, that the extent to which they do this depends on a number of work- life-indicators but that this does not relate directly to wellbeing. We propose future work to understand which groups of people might benefit from consciously using a device separation tactic and if using it really is beneficial to them.