Promoting ethical work-life balance in the information age
Information is useful, but it can also result in unintended consequences: stress from too much information and what actions to take as a result of that information; questions about what information can be shared and with whom; an increase in multi-tasking with a related decrease in efficiency; and problems with people’s abilities to set boundaries and manage expectations in a world with 24/7 connectivity.
The iSchool conducts research into the implications of information overload on the health and well-being of users and the problems and ethics associated with the ease of sharing of information online.
The iSchool’s expertise and research in information and quality of life can assist organizations in the following ways:
- Application development to support a healthy life-style
- Creating a better workplace environment for innovation and creativity
- Training systems that support ethics and information privacy or other organizational values
- Technology use and interoperability
- Managing personal information
Projects and Research
Meditation Training and Workplace Effectiveness
A research study showed that people who received training in mindfullness meditation reported lower levels of stress when taking a multitasking test after the training. The meditators also spent longer on tasks, switching tasks less often, but took no longer to complete the overall job.
Intellectual Property and Information Control
Debate over the control and ownership of digital information and intellectual property includes the “information wants to be free” faction of hackers and the defenders of intellectual property rights. The iSchool helps organizations find a balance in their information policies and standards.
ShutEye and HealthWeaver
Mobile and web-based applications that encourage patients to engage in healthy activities throughout the day. These applications enables patients to share their lifestyle information with selected members of their social network to seek social support, negotiate shared activities and manage health information.
Personal Information Management
Part of the ‘Keeping Found Things Found’ initiative, the Personal Planner application works with existing software applications to organize not only documents but also email messages, web pages, informal notes and other kinds of information.
Envisioning Cards were developed by the Value Sensitive Design Research Lab to raise awareness of long-term and systemic issues in technology design. They are used in organizations by teams when a design team feels stuck on a specific problem, tracking progress, engaging clients or in many other situations when a creative stimulus may help the design process.