Digital Boundaries

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Technology is becoming increasingly embedded in our everyday life through our suite of multiple devices, and as a result the way we work is changing. The consequential constant connectivity means that people often feel that they are expected to respond to emails at any time, or anywhere, and this can lead to work interfering with home life. While interference between work and personal domains has some positive connotations, such as allowing people to remain connected, it is also positively correlated with stress, particularly when work permeates non-work. Therefore being able to negotiate one's availability and thus have more control over boundary management can help reduce interferences and consequently stress. However, we still know very little about the practical implications of communication technologies and their role in boundary management and negotiation.

By bringing together theory from organisational psychology and HCI literature on computer-mediated communication and cross-device experience, this project investigates how communication technology across accounts and devices can support or challenge people's preferred boundary management strategies. Ultimately, our findings can help inform design recommendations to take into account and support users' boundary preferences.

To learn more about this project, please visit our website Digital Boundaries

People

Selected publications

  • Cecchinato, M.E., Cox, A. L., & Bird, J. (2017). Always On(line)? User Experience of Smartwatches and their Role within Multi-Device Ecologies. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing systems. Denver, CO. Download pdf
  • Cox, A.L., Gould, S., Cecchinato, M.E., Iacovides, I., Renfree, I. (2016). Design Frictions for Mindful Interactions: The Case for Microboundaries. Proceedings CHI '16 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. San Jose, CA. Download pdf
  • Cecchinato, M.E., Cox, A.L., Bird, J. (2016, May). Work-Life Balance through Tangibles and the Internet of Things. Tangibles4Health Workshop, ACM CHI, San Jose, CA. Download pdf
  • Cecchinato, M.E., Cox, A.L., & Bird, J. (2015). Working 9-5? Professional Differences in Email and Boundary Management Practices. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing systems. Seoul, South Korea. Download pdf
  • Cecchinato, M.E., Cox, A.L., & Bird, J. (2015). Smartwatches: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Proceedings CHI '15 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Seoul, South Korea. Download pdf
  • Cecchinato, M.E., Fleck, R., Bird, J., & Cox, A.L. (2015, April). Online vs. Offline: Implications for Work Identity. Between the Lines: Reevaluating the Online/Offline Binary Workshop, ACM CHI, Seoul, South Korea. Download pdf
  • Cecchinato, M.E., Cox, A.L., & Bird, J. (2014, September). "I check my emails on the toilet": Email Practices and Work-Home Boundary Management. Socio-Technical Systems and Work-Home Boundaries Workshop, ACM MobileHCI, Toronto, Canada. Download pdf
  • Cecchinato, M.E. (2014, September). Email management and work-home boundaries. In Proceedings of the 16th international conference on Human-computer interaction with mobile devices & services (pp. 403-404). ACM.