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The new nowhere land? A research and practice agenda for the “always on” culture

The new nowhere land? A research and practice agenda for the “always on” culture 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. The authors identify a research agenda as a starting point for reviewing current organisational practice.Design/methodology/approachThe authors 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. They also report findings from a survey of 374 employees working within UK businesses about current organisational practice.FindingsOver half of the organisations sampled do not have clear policies, guidance or training in place regarding work-life balance and supporting employees with regards to technology enabled working and communications. The authors identify as key challenges the sheer volume of e-mail traffic, lack of training and infrastructure to support ICT-enabled working and an absence of appropriate support.Practical implicationsOrganisations need to develop clear policies regarding the psychosocial aspects of technology use and provide evidence-based guidance to managers and employees.Social implicationsManagers and individuals require support to engage with technology in a healthy and sustainable way.Originality/valueThis is one of the first papers to survey organisational practice and support on the topic. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Organizational Effectiveness People and Performance Emerald Publishing

The new nowhere land? A research and practice agenda for the “always on” culture

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References (29)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2051-6614
DOI
10.1108/joepp-05-2017-0045
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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. The authors identify a research agenda as a starting point for reviewing current organisational practice.Design/methodology/approachThe authors 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. They also report findings from a survey of 374 employees working within UK businesses about current organisational practice.FindingsOver half of the organisations sampled do not have clear policies, guidance or training in place regarding work-life balance and supporting employees with regards to technology enabled working and communications. The authors identify as key challenges the sheer volume of e-mail traffic, lack of training and infrastructure to support ICT-enabled working and an absence of appropriate support.Practical implicationsOrganisations need to develop clear policies regarding the psychosocial aspects of technology use and provide evidence-based guidance to managers and employees.Social implicationsManagers and individuals require support to engage with technology in a healthy and sustainable way.Originality/valueThis is one of the first papers to survey organisational practice and support on the topic.

Journal

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness People and PerformanceEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 15, 2017

Keywords: Work-life balance; Job design; Always-on-culture; Information-and-communications-technology; Organizational policy; Remote working

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