Have mobile devices changed working patterns in the 21st Century? A time-diary analysis of work extension in the UK

Killian Mullan, Judy Wajcman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It is commonly claimed that ubiquitous connectivity erodes the boundaries that once separated work from other aspects of life. Mobile devices in particular enable people to perform work-related activities anytime anywhere. Surprisingly, however, we know little about how people nationwide organise their daily working time over a period that has witnessed rapid technological change. Using the United Kingdom Time Use Surveys 2000 and 2015, covering this period of technological change, we studied work extension practices, and the links between work extension, total work hours and subjective time pressure. We found a significant, though small, increase in work extension, and evidence that it was significantly associated with time pressure in 2015, but not in 2000. Additionally, work extension increased total work hours, which was concentrated entirely in time working with a mobile device. We discuss our results in light of some taken-for-granted narratives about mobile devices allowing work to colonise life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-20
Number of pages18
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Volume33
Issue number1
Early online date26 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Fingerprint

technological change
Mobile devices
Diary
Working patterns
time
Time pressure
Technological change
Working time
Work hours
narrative
evidence
Connectivity

Bibliographical note

© Sage 2017. The final publication is available via Sage at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0950017017730529

Keywords

  • mobile devices
  • time pressure
  • time use data
  • work extension
  • work patterns

Cite this

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Have mobile devices changed working patterns in the 21st Century? A time-diary analysis of work extension in the UK. / Mullan, Killian; Wajcman, Judy.

In: Work, Employment and Society, Vol. 33, No. 1, 01.02.2019, p. 3-20.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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