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    The new nowhere land? A research and practice agenda for the "always on" Culture

    McDowall, Almuth and Kinman, G. (2017) The new nowhere land? A research and practice agenda for the "always on" Culture. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance 4 (3), pp. 256-266. ISSN 2051-6614.

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    Purpose: Rapid developments in the field of information communication technology (ICT) mean that e-working has become increasingly common and prolonged – the “always-on-culture” potential to enhance work-life balance via increased flexibility in terms of time and location, as well as posing the risk of being ‘always on’ has been identified with potentially serious implications for the health and performance of employees. We identify a research agenda and review current organizational practice. Approach: We discuss current technological developments as well as prevalent research frameworks and terminology in the domain of work-life balance and beyond to evaluate their fitness for purpose. We also report findings from a survey of 374 employees working within UK businesses about current organisational practice. Findings: Over half of the organisations sampled do not have clear guidance regarding work-life balance and supporting employees with regards to ICT enabled working. Key challenges are the sheer volume of email traffic, lack of training and infrastructure and an absence of appropriate support. Practical implications: Organisations need to develop clear policies regarding the psychosocial aspects of technology use and provide evidence-based guidance to managers and employees. Social implications: Managers and individuals require support to engage with technology in a healthy and sustainable way. Research implications: The paper draws upon paradigms relevant to the work-home interface to question the assumptions made about flexible working in work-family conflict and work-family border theory. Research frameworks need to pay more attention to the socio-technological context and acknowledge the digital terrain. Original/ value: This is one of the first papers to survey organizational practice and support on the topic.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): work-life balance, always-on-culture, information-and-communication-technology, organizational policy, remote working, e-working
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Almuth McDowall
    Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2017 13:18
    Last Modified: 07 Aug 2023 16:10


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