Call: ECSCW 2013 Workshop: “CSCW at the Boundary of Work and Life”

Call for Papers
Workshop: “CSCW at the Boundary of Work and Life”
To be held at ECSCW2013, 21-25 September 2013, Paphos (Cyprus)

Submission deadline: June 28th 2013


This workshop aims to explore how CSCW themes, concepts and sensibilities can be extended and applied to practices blurring the boundary between work and life. Technology has moved from workplaces to become part of nearly every aspect of everyday life. Similarly, CSCW research spans not only work settings and practices, but also other life domains, from family life, to gaming, tourism and other leisure activities. However, the neat distinction between which activities are work-related and which are not is becoming less and less meaningful as often the spheres of work and life blur into each other. Similarly, the use of technology is not limited to specific work vs. non-work situations.

It is increasingly difficult to keep work and life separated, to the point that attempting to achieve work-life balance might be counter-productive or more demanding than managing the blurring between them.

Studies on the use of mobile phones, instant messaging and social media, have also shown how the same communication channel is often used for work and private activities almost at the same time. Mobile technology and mobile interaction have often been a frame for looking at these phenomena, linked to the idea of “mobilization” of practices as well as of infrastructure, and mobilities studies have been the frame for other examples of existing work on shifting patterns of home life and work life physically, temporally and organisationally.

Such blurring might not necessarily be disruptive and/or avoidable: it might be something that people are willing to put effort on, or something that is accepted as part of everyday life and dealt with through different strategies.

This workshop will discuss how to look at this blurring of practices, spheres of life and expectations: is it a problematic issue that should be addressed, or a new way of working and living that people are increasingly embracing? How people coordinate and interact when work tasks, personal tasks and leisure tasks blur into each other, and how to support/facilitate/mediate this through design? How are work and life practices negotiated when someone’s workplace is someone else’s private space?

We welcome submissions on the following themes:

  • Coordination, awareness, planning around work/life practices;
  • The permeation of work and private life with respect to managing work despite interruptions;
  • The permeation of work and private life with respect to achieving a suitable pace of life;
  • Design for the support of both work and life practices;
  • How collaboration and social interaction occur across work and life domains;
  • New interaction modalities that support/mediate the blurring of work and life;
  • Understanding the (positive and negative) impact that technology for work and non-work has on work and non-work situations
  • Theoretical and methodological issues on how to study these issues (merging and/or developing existing frameworks, new conceptual approaches, developments in methodology, etc.);
  • Explorations of settings where this occurs (at home, in the workplace, on the move…).

The workshop will run over 1 day. During the workshop, we will foster debate moving away from traditional presentations, and by facilitating discussions on shared artifacts. We will invite the participants to contribute to the workshop with either posters illustrating a concept/framework, or samples of data collected during fieldwork, or demos/prototypes, and these materials will be the main subject of the discussion.

In the afternoon session, we will lead more focused small-group discussions on specific questions/issues, and practical brainstorming exercises if the number of participants allows. The workshop website will be used during these exercises to aid and document the event, and to disseminate results to the wider Conference and the public at large.

As a follow up to the workshop, we aim to produce an edited publication (journal special issue or edited book) collecting all the workshop contributions in extended form. Exploration of possible publication venues is ongoing.


Papers should be between 4 and 6 pages long and formatted according to the ECSCW template (available at: ). Submissions should be emailed to

All submissions will be reviewed by the organizing team.


June 28, 2013: deadline for submissions
July 25, 2013: notifications due
August 9, 2013: early registration deadline
September 21, 2013: workshop at ECSCW in Cyprus


Luigina Ciolfi (Sheffield Hallam University, UK)
Gabriela Avram (University of Limerick, Ireland)
Erik Grönvall (Aarhus University, Denmark)
Chiara Rossitto (University of Stockholm, Sweden)
Louise Barkhuus (University of Stockholm, Sweden)

Full information available at:


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