Ubiquitous working

(Gombert, Rivkin, Kleinsorge)

The rapid progress of modern communication technologies during the last years has resulted in enormous changes in the world of work. Mobile equipment such as smartphones, notebooks and tablets as well as the permanent availability of wireless internet allow employees to interact with their working environment at any time and at any place. The traditional spatial and temporal boundaries of work dissolve continually – work becomes ubiquitous.

Until now, little is known about which chances and which risks this trend entails for employees’ health and efficiency. A high degree of flexibility and thus a better work-life balance is an important progress especially for women. From a work psychological point of view, possible risks are for example less time for recovery and higher strain as a consequence of the permanent availability of employees.

On the basis of diary studies, we examine inter- and intraindividual relationships between “ubiquitous work” and resulting outcomes. In this process, we focus on organizational factors (e.g. role ambiguity or social support) as well as on personal characteristics (e.g. personality or circumstances of private life). Moreover, another important point constitutes the identification of protective resources (e.g. psychological detachment or sleep quality), which may buffer the negative effects of “ubiquitous work”.

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