Award for studies on the boundary between work and personal life in a digitalised working environment2022-03-23
Kristina Palm at Karlstad Business School and Calle Rosengren at Lund University have received an award for their research on the boundary between work and personal life in a digitalised working environment. Ann Bergman, Professor of Woking Life Science at Karlstad Business School, was given a posthumous honourable mention.
Kristina Palm, why do you think you received the HR Research Award 2021/2022?
- Our research on the blurred boundaries between work and personal life, and especially on how we use digital technology to navigate this, has attracted attention for several years and part of this award is intended to be used for the implementation of this research in practice, putting it to good use.
Who will benefit from your research?
- Our results have been used by HR staff and supervisors. We have also created a tool related to these issues that has been widely used. That is one part. If you read the citation from the jury, we received the award specifically for our contributions to coping strategies related to the availability that comes with the use of technology that makes us available for work at home and for personal matters at work, and the way emotions are connected to this availability.
How are we affected by these blurred boundaries between work and personal life?
- What is particularly interesting is that it is easy to believe that being interrupted and losing focus is only a bad thing. But it can also be that you receive a positive text message from your partner or that a friend cheers you on. A simple reminder about something fun that is happening later in the evening can give a positive energy boost. It could also, however, be about something problematic that takes energy away from work.
What our research wants to emphasise is that digital technology and availability show that emotions in the workplace are not solely related to work. The same applies to the private sphere. Emotions in the private sphere can be both positively and negatively connected to something work-related.
- We have seen that people have different preferences and capacities to be available or not, and that it is a positive thing that we are able do things in different ways - people have different jobs and different life situations. However, from a stress perspective there are risks. There is a greater risk of stress if you do not get enough time to recovery because you are constantly available for work or constantly integrate in both spheres. We need a window where we do not stress or push ourselves. For some, a messy situation at home could mean that work is a free zone where you can turn off your personal life for a few hours.
What does the award mean to you?
- It means a lot. All my work as a researcher is about influencing working life to create a better working environment and work situation for people. The award is proof that our work is important and I am both happy and honoured that it has attracted attention.