Solid, Liquid or Gas?


Liquid labour seems to have completely changed the way that people think about work. It has been transformed into a new space where information and knowledge is the sought after commodity. No longer is your job contained to the old 9-5 schedule now you are connected 24/7 whether it be through a social media service such as twitter or a mobile phone. Sure the freedom to choose where, how and when you work might sound like the greatest thing ever but it seems that the lines begin to blur between life and work is where the problems begin. How many people have you seen sitting in a cafe on their lunch break but still working?

Presence bleed explains the familiar experience whereby the location and time of work become secondary considerations faced with a ‘to do’ list that seems forever out of control. It manifests as the variable degree of willingness workers feel in letting work seep in to and coexist alongside other spheres of life activity.

From Presence Bleed: Performing Professionalism Online more by Melissa Gregg

The concept of a ‘Presence bleed’ is the only real problem I have with this new style of ‘work’. Personally I am all for flatter organizational structures, focusing on information/knowledge sorting and being able to communicate across the globe instantly to collaborate with like minded individuals but we all need some time off the clock.


8 thoughts on “Solid, Liquid or Gas?

  1. I think the term ‘presence bleed’ in itself seems like a bit of an exaggeration when it comes to the employment arena. While I agree that there is a definite blending between work and leisure due to the ability to be connected 24/7, this isn’t necessarily such a doom and gloom concept. Think about all the advancements that have been made over the last few years because people are able to work outside of a 2 x 2 cubicle. Inspiration is often known to strike while people are in the shower, so without a bit of “presence bleed” the ideas borne from random shower thoughts may never make it off the ground. Yes, they are still part of the work machine outside of their designated hours but many people would argue that they are more productive when not constrained by the limitations of the traditional working day. It’s obviously all about balance, knowing that it’s probably time to take a break when you can’t even remember the names of your friends/children/dozens of cats.


    1. Im in agreement with the previous comments. Great title brings me back to school in my senior science class! I agree with the points you raised about the blurring of the lines between work and home/leisure time. It is great to think that we can now work on location whereever it may be, whether it’s a meeting on Skype from the comfort of your own home or sending emails whilst traveling to and from work. However (like you’ve mentioned) when does it stop? Personally I believe it’s essential to have that break from worklife although this isn’t the case for our tech-savvy workers today. No offesne to those hard workers but I surely hope when I finally enter the workforce after completing my degree that I don’t become consumed in this portable work


  2. Love the title of your blog – ‘Solid, liquid or gas’. The concept of presence bleed is an interesting topic to focus on. Just to add to your analysis there was an article from 20 August titled “Aussies starting to switch off from work technology” ( Which could make for an interesting read. It talks about how people are frequently using their devices to connect with work but they are also using numerous apps for leisure, shopping, games and even meditation. The article links to a recent quote from Steve Miller, head of Microsoft Office, “The balance we individually find with technology is personal to our own individual needs which is why we need to create a user experience you can make uniquely you and fit into your increasingly fluid life”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your title is very clever, I am a fan of puns and word play. Your topic of ‘persence bleed’ is interesting and one bit of the lecture I didn’t understand but now do have a clearer understanding of it thanks to you.


  4. Hey, I like they you analyzed the negative effects of liquid labor. As our work becomes less phyiscal it will be hard to separate it from other aspects of our lives. For a lot of people who work in politics and entertainment the line has already been completely dismantled. We now live in the age where the most important tool is your mobile phone haha


  5. You discussed the intrusion of social media into workplace well, however you could have discussed the new area of employment as people whose job is to solely produce Tweets and Facebook posts for a company. This is a growing aspect of business and an important aspect of the social life/work life integration.

    Still a fantastic post though, I particularly liked the Presence bleed quote. Perhaps this to-do list indicates that the same work is being done as a 9-5 job, but it is done over a larger timeframe. This in itself could be another link to the the workplace/social convergence.


  6. I chose to write about the work-life balance this week as well and expressed some similar points to you. One criticism I do have for both of us though, having just read your post and relating some of the concepts to mine, is that we both chose a negative approach to the concept of “presence bleed” when there are also many benefits to being able to be connected 24/7. For instance, people can now work from home, and can find out about news as soon as it happens. For someone like a Journalist this could be a very beneficial tool for their career! Also, I was waiting for a link to the quirky title but couldn’t seem to find one, it would have been very funny if you perhaps made a metaphor out of it and used “liquid” as people slipping out of your hands and “solid” as people who are solid in the present moment or something like that, Just some food for thought 🙂 All in all great post!


  7. You have a beautiful layout for each blog post, you are very simple and to the point which is great and easy to read and understand.
    However I would have liked for a little bit more of your point of view.
    Otherwise it is a good blog and very relevant.
    (PS great title)


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