Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Enacting virtual connections between work and home

By Judy Wajcman, Emily Rose, Judith E. Brown and Michael Bittman


The potential for information and communication technologies to reorganize time and space has emerged as a key theme in social theory. Affordances of the Internet mean that it has the capacity to affect temporal and spatial boundaries dividing work and home. Some theorists express concern that this may extend work into times normally reserved for family life, while others argue the Internet can encourage flexible work practices and result in better work—life balance. Focusing on a nationally representative sample of Australian employees, we examine the purpose and timing of Internet use and its role in the interaction between these domains. We demonstrate that the Internet is being used for personal purposes during work time to a greater extent than for work purposes during non-work time. Furthermore, we show that use of the Internet for work purposes outside work hours can assist work—family balance

Topics: HE Transportation and Communications, HM Sociology
Publisher: SAGE Publications on behalf of the Australian Sociological Association
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1177/1440783310365583
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online

Suggested articles


  1. (2002). Addressing Technological Change: The Challenge to Social Theory.' doi
  2. (2007). Australian Communications and Media Authority
  3. Australian Communications and Media Authority (2008a).
  4. Australian Communications and Media Authority (2008b). Telecommunications Today. Report 6: Internet Activity and Content.
  5. (2006). Beyond the 'Digital Divide': Internet Diffusion and Inequality in Australia.' doi
  6. (2005). Blurring Boundaries? Linking Technology Use, Spillover, Individual Distress, and Family Satisfaction.' doi
  7. (1996). Changing Rhythms of American Family Life. doi
  8. (2008). Clawing Back Time": Expansive Working Time and Implications for Work Life Outcomes in Australian Workers.' doi
  9. (2005). CrackBerrys: Exploring the Social Implications of Ubiquitous Wireless Email Devices.' doi
  10. (2002). Employment, Flexible Working and the Family.' doi
  11. (2004). Family Time: The Social Organisation of Care.
  12. (2003). High Performance' Management Practices, Working Hours and Work-Life Balance.' doi
  13. (1995). Home and Work: Negotiating Boundaries through Everyday Life. doi
  14. (2009). Intimate Connections: The Impact of the Mobile Phone on Work Life Boundaries'. Mobile Technologies: From Telecommunications to
  15. (2003). Machines that Become Us: The Social Context of Personal Communication Technology. New Brunswick and London, Transaction Publishers. doi
  16. (2000). Mechanisms Linking Work and Family: Clarifying the Relationship between Work and Family Constructs.' doi
  17. (2007). Mobile Comunication and Society. A Global Perspective. doi
  18. (2003). Mobile Transformations of 'Public' and 'Private' Life.' doi
  19. (2007). Mothers and Fathers with Young Children: Paid Employment, Caring and Wellbeing. Canberra, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. doi
  20. (2006). New Connections: doi
  21. (2001). Physical Place and Cyberspace: The Rise of Personalized Networking.' doi
  22. (2001). Restructuring Workplace Cultures: The Ultimate Work-Family challenge?' doi
  23. (2001). Social Implications of the Internet.' doi
  24. (2007). Sociomaterial Practices: Exploring Technology at Work.' doi
  25. (1985). Sources of Conflict between Work and Family Roles.' doi
  26. (1984). Spillover from Family to Work: The Neglected Side of the WorkFamily Interface.' doi
  27. (2007). The Australian Work and Life Index (AWALI).' doi
  28. (1992). The Circuit of Technology: Gender, Identity and Power'. Consuming Technologies: Media and Information doi
  29. (1990). The Condition of Postmodernity. doi
  30. (1990). The Consequences of Modernity. Cambridge and Oxford, doi
  31. (2005). The Health Effects of Jobs: Status, Working Conditions, or Both?' Australian and New Zealand doi
  32. (2006). The Labour Market Ate My Babies: Work, Children and a Sustainable Future. doi
  33. (2006). The Lesser Evil: Bad Jobs or Unemployment? A Survey of Mid-Aged Australians.' doi
  34. (2000). The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford and Malden, doi
  35. (1984). The Social Construction of Facts and Artefacts: Or How the Sociology of Science and the Sociology of Technology Might Benefit Each Other.' doi
  36. (1987). The Social Construction of Technological Systems: doi
  37. (1999). The Social Shaping of Technology. Buckingham & Philadelphia, doi
  38. (2002). The Temporal and Spatial Frameworks and Experiences of Caring and Working.' doi
  39. (1997). The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work. doi
  40. (2003). The Work/Life Collision. doi
  41. (2005). Time and the Negotiation of Work-Family Boundaries: Autonomy or Illusion?' doi
  42. (1997). Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time. doi
  43. (2006). Time Thieves and Space Invaders: Technology, Work and the Organization.' doi
  44. (2006). Time Use and the Impact of Technology: Examining Workspaces in the Home.' doi
  45. (2006). Unsociable Work? Nonstandard Work Schedules, Family Relationships, and Children's Well-Being.' doi
  46. (2003). Web Use and Net Nerds: A Neofunctionalist Analysis of the Impact of Information Technology in the Home.' doi
  47. (1993). Work-Family Strains and Gains Among TwoEarner Couples.' doi
  48. (1992). Work, Families, and Organizations. doi
  49. (2000). Workplace Studies: Recovering Work Practice and Informing System Design. Cambridge, doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.