Balance Network Activities, Nov 2015 - Apr 2016

Below are brief descriptions of the eight recently funded Balance Network activities.  We are delighted to be working with each of the leads on such an exciting range of topics in a variety of formats. They will all be brought together at Beyond Balance, our one day culmination event on 27 June 2016 featuring keynote speakers Oliver Burkeman and Claire Fox. For details on all of the activities, download the attachment below and visit their webpages.

Balance Network Activities Nov 2015 - Apr 2016

Business Travel, Mobile ICTs and work-life balance: Day Workshop and Research Network Building
On 13 April at The Wesley, Central London, Loughborough University and the University of Bristol hosted this one-day event that considered how the use of mobile ICTs by mobile workers, when undertaking work-related journeys, impacts on their work life balance. Speakers included Prof Glenn Lyons and Prof James Faulconbridge.  For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

A trans-disciplinary approach to building e-resilience: managing technology across the lifespan
Dr. Christine Grant of Coventry University and Prof. Gail Kinman of University of Bedfordshire co-hosted this conference on e-resilience on April 21 in London. The conference explored how technology can impact on resilience and well-being in individuals, supervisors and organisations and the implications for families and communities.

Rhythms, routines and relationships: Daily life, digital technologies and energy demand
More details on Rachel Macrorie (University of Sheffield), PhD Candidate Faye Wade (UCL), and Dr. Kathryn Buchanan’s (University of Essex) project can be found on their webpage. A video outlining the original Working Party event at University of Sheffield in Nov 2015 is also now available. The Working Papers from the project will be available online shortly. 

Life-Swap Workshops
Colleagues from University of Birmingham, UCL, and University of Nottingham - led by Birmingham’s Dr. Rowanne Fleck who collaborated on the Digital Epiphanies project – held a series of interactive workshops at partner universities between February and April.  The sessions explored how sharing personal data collected by technology is a way people can swap life routines with others, and has huge potential to enable people to gain new insights into their own and others’ experiences. Participants brought along and shared a variety of personal data to explore different aspects of work-life balance.

Design Led Explorations: Material Desires

On 17 February in London, Paulina Yurman, PhD student at Goldsmiths hosted a Design-Led workshop exploring our complex relationship with technologies that blur the lines between domestic and work life. Her workshop brought together researchers and practitioners from design, HCI and social sciences disciplines. A webpage and blog detailing the activities and outcomes of the Workshop is available.

‘Going off the grid’: Can employees really switch off during travel?
Bournemouth University brought together academics, tourism, technology and HR professionals, students and the public at a one-day workshop on 9 March 2016, in Bournemouth.  The conference asked: “What happens if ‘going off the grid’ is no longer an option in our hyper-connected and work-centred lifestyles?” Speakers included Prof Dimitrios Buhalis and Dr Juliet Jain who opened a debate on changed work life balance realities and the wider challenges and expectations towards connectivity of employees in a digital world.  The event was recorded and the organisers were interviewed by BBC Radio Solent on 9 March and that clip can be found between 01:23-01:30. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Prolonging working life through ICT: the role of crowdsourcing
Dr. Sally-Anne Barnes, University of Warwick, hosted a seminar in Coventry on 3 March 2016. The session explored how crowdsourcing has changed the boundary between work and home, enabling older people to achieve new work-life balance and remain part of the labour force. The event acted as a knowledge exchange between academics, policy-makers and stakeholders in the industry around evaluating and supporting this opportunity to extend working lives through ICT.

Digital Brain Switch: Exploring work-life boundaries in a digital age
Led by Dr. Helen Roby of the Open University and Dr. Gillian Symon of Royal Holloway University, the cross-disciplinary, multi-university Digital Brain Switch (DBS) has produced and launched two videos as a long lasting resource from the project. The videos include new footage with the team as well as video diaries, reflective commentaries and interactive media, which was generated during the project.

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