Balancing the double-edged sword of technology within a modern university workplace

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Globalization has influenced the identity of universities worldwide to such an extent that they have become servants for economic growth by producing scientific knowledge and highly educated graduates. In a South African (SA) dispensation, the transformation of higher education (HE) focused on restructuring the system to meet the needs of a technology-orientated economy. The latter resulted in more specialized and complex university work that was reliant on technological devices for its completion. It is on this premise that the author investigated the extent to which technological devices as a ‘job resource’ kept SA University staff constantly connected to their work life.
This study was subject to a mixed methods research design whereby three data collection instruments were used to obtain both quantitative and qualitative data, which were combined via triangulation of factor analysis and theme identification. Purposive sampling included both academic and non-academic staff from a selected SA university. Stemming from the results, it became apparent that problematic merger issues led to inadequate workspaces, job resources and IT network. Consequently, staff were experiencing occupational stressors related to work overload and inadequate job resources, which perpetuated staffs’ work-life transcending into their personal life, as they were constantly plugged into their technological devices to complete job tasks.

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    • Figure 1. Talents utilized
    • Figure 2. Concentration
    • Figure 3. Workspace
    • Figure 4. Working equipment
    • Figure 5. Equipment availability
    • Table 1. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for employee wellness factor 2: wellness working environment