I put my hand up to present at the upcoming Postgraduate Seminar day. I had to pull my own arms to do it because I'm still not feeling completely up to speed but I think it will be a good time to get some input and will help me to articulate my findings in a structured and hopefully interesting way. Here is the draft abstract for the presentation. I'm not completely sold on the title yet. "Staying ahead" doesn't quite sum up the idea. "Staying on top of things" does but it's a bit clunky. Any ideas appreciated.
Always on, Staying ahead: the culture of availability and adaptability at work
This presentation will recap on the progress of my PHD research on office workers and their daily interactions with and through their information and communication technology (ICT). I will focus on the findings of the research I conducted in two organisations; a local city council in Sydney and a global telecommunications company based in Melbourne. Two themes emerging from this research are highlighted, first a pressure experienced by workers to be available (through their technologies) to work at any time and secondly, a pressure to stay on top of changes experienced in the technologies of work as well as in the volume and flow of work. The findings demonstrate how these demands are internalised and externalised by workers in their daily interactions with technology, how they are unevenly experienced across and within the two organisations and how workers obtain and keep their '-abilities'. The findings contribute to an understanding of how employability is heterogenously configured through sociotechnical arrangements and how it manifests in contemporary office work.