Family Rituals 2.0 is a project based on the premise that work-related travel is unlikely to disappear in the foreseeable future. Many work roles – from truck drivers to CEOs – involve periods of absence, and often being away overnight. Travel which takes people away overnight impacts on family and home life; however, the emergence of powerful new digital communication technologies could challenge traditional experiences of such absence.
Many studies have considered the potential for digital technology to substitute travel and to enable more flexible working patterns that benefit work-life balance. Fewer have considered the potential for digital technologies in maintaining home life at-a-distance while absent through work.
The presentation will use the narratives of mobile workers and their families to consider how absence is conceived and managed, and the role played by technologies. It will also debate the impacts of these findings on the future of technology and work-life balance.
Jain, J., & Clayton, W. (2014, July). Can digital presence reconfigure experiences of absence?. Presented at 5th New Zealand Mobilities Symposium: Future Mobilities and Resilience