Work / Life Ecologies

About Work/Life

The Work / Life Ecologies Project aims to understand staff and students’ broader lifestyles as part of a work-life ecology, occurring a cross a range of spaces, both physical and virtual. In using the term work-life ecology, rather than the more common term ‘work-life balance’, we argue that these two realms have become interrelated in contemporary society. The opportunities for these domains to infiltrate each other are increasing, be it through attending to email after hours, or through flexible work arrangements.

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  • One of the key findings of the Work Life Ecologies Project is that academic collaboration often entails physical co-presence, and that this is one of the main reasons academics undertake air travel. This aligns with research into business travel more generally, as professionals often use air travel to meet partners and clients.
    This raises the question: to what extent can work be performed remotely, without the need for frequent travel?

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  • In our research on academic air travel, we learned that one of the main reasons academics go to conferences is for the opportunity to interact with other academics in an informal setting. Academics commonly cited the conversations they have during conference breaks and meals as being particularly beneficial for professional and personal networking. But given that eating meals is such an embodied and material experience, what would it look like to experience that remotely? Can we really eat a meal with someone on the opposite side of the world in the same way as though they were sitting next to us?

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  • Flight

    As part of the SUPP project, we are seeking to understand the extent to which Australian universities recognize air travel as a sustainability issue, and what measures they are taking to reduce the amount of flying their employees do.

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