The Work-Life-Flow initiative is building self-assessment and e-learning tools to help companies and employees navigate remote working.
Researchers at the Waterford Institute of Technology’s School of Health Sciences are contributing to a new EU research project on work-life balance. Called Work-Life-Flow, the initiative is focusing on the challenges of remote working in particular.
It is funded by the EU Erasmus+ programme. Led by the University of Barcelona, the project’s consortium comprises seven higher education institutions and business partners across Ireland, Portugal, Germany, Kosovo and Spain.
The Irish Work Study Institute and the Institute of Industrial Engineering and Safety Management Systems (IIESMS) are also taking part.
The goal of the project is to develop tools for promoting a “better and sustainable work-life flow”, the consortium said.
This includes an assessment tool for individuals and companies. It will help them identify the challenges and demands posed by remote work, as well as resources and wellbeing.
The group also plans to develop a blended e-learning tool for employees to help them manage these challenges and increase their resources.
“Never has a project about the relationship between work and home life been more timely and more needed,” said Prof John Wells, who is Work-Life-Flow lead at Waterford Institute of Technology.
“The psychological and physical challenges as to how people manage their home space as their regular workspace has been one of the defining features of the pandemic, particularly onerous for those who also have children at home.”
Wells added that remote working is an aspect of 21st-century life “that is likely to grow, not to recede” after the pandemic is over.
“As such, the Work-Life-Flow project is proactively thinking about this future and coming up with practical aids,” he said.
IIESMS and Irish Work Study Institute director of development, Donal Nolan, added: “The results of this project will form the basis for how work is designed in modern times, ensuring a safe and productive work-life flow that meets the expectations of both employees and employers.”