Further SOCRG Activities

Autumn/Winter 2016/2017:

4-6 January 2017

Division of Occupational Psychology Annual Conference 2017 – Hilton Hotel Liverpool

Thursday, 5 January 2017, 16:35-18:15, Room 8

Professional forum moderated by Gail Kinman

Title: Workplace flexibility and work-life balance – friend or foe?


This professional forum considers the implications of flexible working. Drawing on research evidence, the effectiveness of flexible options will be reviewed and the organisational and individual criteria for success considered. Several issues will be debated: 1) government policies for eligibility; 2) notions of precarious work/zero-hours contracts as ‘flexibility’; 3) practical ways to instigate flexible arrangements; 4) what actually works? and 5) current gaps in knowledge. We aim to raise awareness that flexibility is not a panacea for work-life balance and consider the ways in which this complex issue can be addressed to ensure that interventions are firmly grounded in psychological research evidence.

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Friday, 6 January 2017, 9:00-10:20, Room 2

Speaker: Gail Kinman

Title: EAOHP Invited forum: Work-life balance: What works?


This panel discussion is relevant to researchers and practitioners with an interest in the field of OHP who wish to find out what actually works. It draws on insights from experts working in key areas of occupational health psychology to identify ways to enhance the wellbeing of employees at individual and organisational levels. Delegates will gain an overview of how research findings can be translated into creative and effective interventions that have strong potential to improve wellbeing in different occupational settings. The session will focus on how to develop effective interventions to reduce work-related stress, enhance work-life balance and introduce health promotion initiatives as well as the factors that influence their effectiveness. Case study examples will be provided and challenges, opportunities and obstacles faced by researchers and practitioners in the field will be discussed. Gaps in knowledge and priorities for future research in OHP will also be explored.

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Friday, 6 January 2017, 10:20-10:40, Room 3

Speaker: Christine Grant

Title: What makes a resilient e-worker?  A competency approach supporting well-being


This qualitative study aims to identify skills and competencies to help e-workers and organisations better understand the impact of e-working and ICT use on well-being, and the positive and negative behaviours that influence their ‘e-resilience’. Data were obtained from 34 semi-structured interviews with experienced e-workers from a range of work roles to investigate their understanding of the skills, competencies and coping strategies required to be a resilient e-worker. The five emergent themes were: knowledge, skills and abilities; agile working; lifestyle and personal qualities; management styles; and organisational actions. Findings suggest a competency-based approach could enhance e-resilience and well-being in e-workers.

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Friday, 6 January 2017, 12:50-13:10, Room 7

Speaker: Almuth McDowall

Title: “The new nowhere-land”. Who is responsible for our “always on culture”?


This paper reports the findings of a mixedmethods survey of over 370 practitioners regarding organisational work-life policies, responsibility for, and outcomes of, using information and communication technology (ICT) for work, and the implications for wellbeing, work-life balance and performance. Our findings reveal a distinct lack of policy, ownership and strategy in UK organisations. Over 50 per cent of respondents report that no one takes responsibility for how ICT is used and that organisations do not have clear policies or provide guidance. Whilst near 25 per cent of respondents consider that ICT can increase effectiveness and communication, well over 20 per cent also highlight the negative effects for work relationships and health.

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14 December 2016


Digital Scholars in a Mobile World – University of Hull, one-day event funded by the Balance Network

The School of Education and Social Sciences is pleased to invite you to this one-day research symposium which explores the work/life balance of academics in increasingly mobile and digitised academic environments.

Although the event is particularly addressed to early career researchers, we welcome colleagues from all career stages and working in or across different disciplines.

Gail Kinman is an invited speaker at this event.

Title: E-mail use, boundary management and work-life balance in academics


This presentation draws on the findings of several studies conducted over the last ten years or so that have examined the predictors and outcomes of work-life conflict and wellbeing in UK academics and the factors that might protect or exacerbate these outcomes. Particular focus is placed on a recent mixed-methods study that explored academics’ use of technology for work purposes and the implications for their recovery, work-life balance, wellbeing and job performance. The role of job stressors, such as level of demand, as well as individual difference factors, such as job involvement, integration preference, schedule flexibility and email management behaviours, is also examined. The implications of the findings for interventions to help academics manage technology more effectively will be considered.

Please visit the event page here for further information.

21-22 October 2016

International Psychology Conference, Dubai

Keynote by Gail Kinman

Title: Building e-resilience: helping individuals and organisations manage technology in a healthy and sustainable way

Please download the slides below:

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Please download the summary below:

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Summer 2016:

22 June 2016

15:30 – 17:00

Symposium at the Institute of Work Psychology International Conference 2016 in Sheffield, UK

Title: Always on? Technology use, recovery and work-life balance

Summary: This symposium examines the wide-ranging implications of ICT use on recovery, boundary management and work-life balance. It comprises five papers that draw on a range of theoretical frameworks (such as the job demands-resources model, resource drain and border and boundary management theory) and methodological approaches (such daily diary studies, cross sectional surveys and in-depth interviews). The studies explore personal experiences of ICT use, psychological recovery and work-life balance as well as the role played by organisational context and individual differences. Reflecting the need for insight into the implications of intrinsic features of work for ICT use, focus is placed on the predictors and outcomes of ICT use by healthcare employees, customer service workers and academics. Considerable variation has been found in the extent to which employees wish their work and personal life to be integrated as well as the behaviours they use to manage the interface between their work and personal life (Kossek & Lautsch, 2012). This symposium builds upon these findings by exploring the role played by several individual difference factors such as segmentation preferences, boundary management strategies, career centrality, job involvement and detachment. A particularly novel contribution is a paper that presents the findings of a daily diary study that considers the impact of recovery through online based activities, compared to other leisure pursuits. The use of novel measures to assess engagement with ICT outside formal working hours and the competencies that underpin healthy and unhealthy management strategies in different contexts is also emphasised.

The findings highlight the strong potential for ICT use to impair work-life balance and wellbeing. Nonetheless, under certain conditions there is evidence that it can enhance flexibility and increase wellbeing. All of the papers have strong potential to inform the development of interventions to help employees and organisations manage ICT use more effectively.

The symposium will conclude with a brief interactive panel discussion to consider the implications of the findings to help organisations and individuals engage with ICTs more healthily and sustainably and identify priorities for future research.

Winter/Spring 2016:

8 January 2016:

*** Presentation slides of the individual talks can now be downloaded ***

Invited symposium at the Division of Occupational Psychology Annual Conference 2016 in Nottingham, UK.

Title: ‘Switching on and switching off’: Building e-resilience for work-life balance and wellbeing

Summary: Technology can enable employees to work ‘anytime and anywhere’ with strong potential to enhance flexibility and improve work-life balance. Nonetheless, technology use can allow work concerns to intrude into personal life and constrain opportunities for respite and recovery, with serious implications for wellbeing and job performance as well as work-life balance. It is therefore vital for occupational psychologists to gain insight into the positive and negative implications of technology use to help individuals and organisations manage it more effectively and sustainably. This symposium presents five papers that examine the implications of technology use for work-life balance and wellbeing.

Included talks:

Powering On: Switching Off: An investigation into the effects of the ‘switched on’ culture on employee work-life balance
Chloe Nevitt and Christine Grant, Coventry University

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The organisational context of ICT use for work-related purposes during non-work time
Svenja Schlachter, Mark Cropley, Rachel Avery, University of Surrey

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Managing digital interruptions in an always-connected world
Anna L Cox, UCL Interaction Centre, University College London

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Enabled intensification? ICT use, work-life balance and wellbeing in UK academics
Gail Kinman, University of Bedfordshire

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What can we learn from experimental research on technology use?
Almuth McDowall, Birkbeck University of London

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9 March 2016:

Sessions at Health and Wellbeing @ Work 2016 in NEC, Birmingham, UK

Occupational Psychology and Organisational Behaviour Strand:


Workplace Flexibility, Work-Life Balance and Wellbeing
Almuth McDowall (Birkbeck University of London) and Gail Kinman (University of Bedfordshire)


The ‘Switched on Culture’ – How Can we Manage the Impact of ICT use on Work-Life Balance?
Christine Grant, Coventry University