Digitalisering & gränslöst arbete: Upplevelsen av stress och effekterna av arbetsplatsnormer i processindustrin
Digitalization has resulted in a more boundaryless work environment, which puts pressure on organizations and workers to be flexible and adaptable. The aim of this report is to extend the knowledge about the effects of digital tools on workers’ psychosocial work environment and to study how an organization’s social norms affect how workers relate to boundaryless work. The aim will be achieved through a case study of an organization in the process industry, which has a vision of becoming the world’s most digital industry within its line of business. The study has been conducted using a qualitative method. The empirical material consists of two focus groups with 14 participants in total. Four of these participants have individually also been interviewed to deepen the data. Previous research and theories regarding boundaryless work, digital and psychosocial work environment and social norms have been used to thematically analyze the empirical material. The results show that the digitalization process has affected the stress levels to a certain degree as it results in increased availability for all workers. The stress levels mainly depend on individual factors and position in the organization, creating a difference between blue- and white-collar workers as the possibility of boundaryless work is higher for the latter. The individual’s ability of setting work-life boundaries also affects the stress levels. The workplace norms foster strong support and engagement. In accordance with the demand-control-support model and Derks et al.’s (2014) theory about WHI, this has been found as a reason for stress reduction. However, the study also shows that the demands have increased, and the levels of control varies between employees. This results in different perceptions of stress depending on one’s level of control. By receiving guidance, clearance and support from the organization and its managers, employees believe they can decrease the worry and potential stress this causes.