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Personal Tasks at Work: An Exploration

Sarah McRoberts
Proceedings of the 20th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing Companion, ACM, New York, NY, USA (2017) (to appear)


Technology has changed the way that people work, socialize, and generally live their lives. Especially, technology has changed the way that those distinct parts of a person’s life intermingle. Previous work has largely focused on different styles of work-life balance, and most of the industry contributions to this problem focus on preventing work tasks from leaking into one’s personal life. However, little work has been done to investigate the ways that personal tasks impact the work day. We present the results of a survey of 93 employed people, as they relate to personal tasks that people do at work. We consider the context, consequences, and persistency of these tasks, and propose some design implications that could better reinforce the individual boundaries that people have between their work and personal lives.