Wednesday, 10 February 2021

The impact of hyper connectivity on work and well-being - PhD studentship starting October 2021

Fully-funded PhD studentship starting in October. If you are interested in the below project drop me or Brit Davidson an email/tweet. 

About the Project

A variety of ubiquitous technologies have allowed home and work life to overlap. However, the health and occupational impacts following these developments are far from clear. While some people can thrive in an ‘always-on’ environment, other research has focused on Cyberloafing - a term used to describe the actions of employees who use internet access for other activities while pretending to do legitimate work.

Today, the very same digital technologies used to conduct business can also log working patterns. Tracking such behaviour can help institutions meet compliance obligations and support healthy working practices, but remote monitoring may have unintended consequences. For example, even with good intentions, new systems will generate additional security vulnerability’s and could inadvertently increase the risk of employee burnout.

Many questions remain when it comes to how people regulate their technology use to meet occupational and social obligations. Therefore, this PhD project will explore how mobile technology is changing the way we work and how it impacts individuals and their environment.

The successful applicant will help shape the project with the supervisory team. However, the PhD may consider:

(1) How employees from different sectors perceive the impact of digital working practices on productivity and well-being.

(2) How data from mobile or wearable devices (e.g. movement, location, and sleep quality) is associated with well-being and productivity.

(3) How digital traces can predict future absenteeism or reduced productivity.

(4) The ethical and security implications of new technologies that are already being used to monitor employees.

A better understanding of the above would help recognize and mitigate challenges associated with flexible working in the digital age. Similarly, from a technical perspective, results would aid the development of new systems that ethically support employees and employers in the future.

Funding Notes

Studentships cover ‘Home’ tuition fees, research/training costs and stipend (£15,285 p.a., 2020/21 rate) for up to 3/4 years. Limited full scholarships may be available for academically excellent Overseas applicants. Overseas applicants may also be considered for UK award, if able to provide evidence of ability to fund the fee difference.

Candidates normally eligible for 'Home' fees are:

UK nationals*

Irish nationals living in the UK/Ireland

Applicants with settled or pre-settled* status in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme

Applicants with indefinite leave to enter/remain in the UK

* must have lived in the UK/EEA/Switzerland continuously since September 2018.

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