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Digital intrusion in an enforced Covid homeworking era


Dr Alison Attrill-Smith and Professor Maria Uther from the University’s Cyberpsychology Research Group have had a piece on digital intrusion while working from home published on the Association for Business Psychology’s website.

It is entitled ‘Digital intrusion in an enforced Covid homeworking era’ and discusses what digital intrusion looks like while homeworking, its impacts and how it can be managed.

It starts:

Since March 2020, the majority of the UK population has had to work from home at some point due to the Covid pandemic. These enforced periods of home working have made it more difficult for individuals to have clear ‘boundaries’ between work and home and as such, there is less of a sense of a healthy ‘work-life balance’.  

Moving one’s work environment into the home may be completely novel to some whilst others may be more used to spending some time working at home. Moreover, not only does the dynamic of staying at home add one dimension to the sense of occupational strain, so does the need to engage with and learn to use and communicate with new technologies. Having that working environment in the home might see workers trying to juggle a constant stream of alerts amongst their domestic non-work activities. Digital alerts can soon take over days and evenings and workers often feel obliged to attend to them regardless of when they appear, and especially if they are extending to mobile phones and tablet devices not normally used for work. 

In this article we talk about the psychological impacts of digital intrusion and how they might be managed.

Working from home has traditionally been seen as a perk of a job, of avoiding the commute, overly busy, chaotic and loud work environments, and being able to focus more to complete projects or tasks. But these benefits of home working are coupled with potential pitfalls in digital intrusions from work. There are three main ways in which digital intrusion impacts on the home worker: attention, phone applications and intrusion of privacy.

The article then goes on to look at attention, phone applications, intrusion of privacy, intrusion impact, and coping with digital intrusion.

Read the full article on the Association for Business Psychology’s website.

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