Personalizing the professional
The widespread adoption of mobile media such as smartphones, enables us to be ‘always on’ – reachable regardless of our physical location and social activities. The perpetual availability of all media via the smartphone entails the interlacing of formerly separate social contexts. This contextual interlacing has been said to indicate a structural and cultural shift in the balance between two key spheres of life: personal and work life. This project posits that if we are indeed witnessing such underlying changes of the day-to-day life worlds we inhabit, these changes manifest themselves at the level of communication.
The project presents empirical studies of social media and self-tracking in organizational contexts to explore how people orient themselves to, experience and manage the relationship between work and personal life by way of communicative practices, and how these practices contribute to the reshaping and hybridization of personal and professional contexts of communication. With this project, we aim to inform current debates about digital wellbeing and qualify how organizations and individuals alike may facilitate such wellbeing.
Our empirical work on the work/life intersection follows three main leads: Media, communication practices and data trails:
How do people navigate the ’always on culture’ that follows from the interlacing of communication contexts, e.g. through strategic management of their availability through digital media, digital detoxing etc.
What is the role of communication practices in integrating and separating work life and personal life? What happens to core communication genres of private, interpersonal everyday life when they intersect with those we practice in professional contexts, e.g. on social media?
How do data-driven organizational initiatives for wellbeing targeted at employees, e.g. corporate wellness programs, contribute to enhancing experiences of dissolution of boundaries between work and personal activities.