Liquid Labour?

A Liquid Life assumes that the areas of production (work) and consumption (life) have converged. The 21st century has seen a spillover effect with work and life balance, making each of these aspects of our human condition contingent on the characteristics of the other (Deuze, 2006). The use of technology within the ‘workplace’ and ‘homelife’ is suggestive of this notion. Today, jobs no longer entail a seven-day a week 9 till 5 structure, work practices have become far more flexible. This is largely due to the new media in which we have access to. Such devices have shifted work hours into leisure hours, blurring the line and increasing the imbalance. Similarly is the idea of ‘presence bleed’ which explains how the location and time of ones labour is considered a secondary thought when it comes to expectation of work (Gregg). While it is obviously debatable whether giving this kind of freedom has been as effective as it proposes, it is no doubt that technology has made work life easier. The problem that remains is whether we are able to switch off from work and technology when it remains in our living room!

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Deuze, M. (2006) ‘Liquid Life, Convergence Culture, and Media Work’

Gregg, M. ‘Function Creep: Communication technologies and anticipatory labour in the information workplace’

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3 thoughts on “Liquid Labour?

  1. I really like the points you brought across especially how the 9-5 structure is slowly becoming less and less relevant as work hours are becoming more flexible. But as a consequence, the line between work and leisure is slowly narrowing, which is interesting.

  2. I like the argument you brought in at the end regarding whether we are able to switch off work life and technology when we are at home. Of course with this new paradigm of “liquid labor”, work never really ceases, as information is always flowing. We always hear of workers these days having to answer emails and check twitter to keep up to date with what is happening after working hours- Especially when working in the field of the media, where it is imperative to keep up to date. This can inevitably leave to stress with workers feeling the need to stay connected online, to keep up with this liquid flow of information, and never truly having “leisure” time. This article describes 13 ways to somehow detach from work after hours, in order to alleviate the stress of always having to stay connected- http://www.bustle.com/articles/178433-13-ways-to-detach-from-work-after-office-hours

  3. I really liked this post, and how you highlighted how devices have increased the imbalance of leisure time and work. Its crazy to think that workers can now bring the office wherever they go and the crazy shift from industrial production to knowledge production. The businesses operating in the information economy are very different to a traditional business. Online labour is so present nowadays !

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