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Mobility and Connectivity: On the Character of Mobile Information Work

Mobility and Connectivity: On the Character of Mobile Information Work
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Author(s): Victor M. Gonzalez (University of Manchester, UK) and Antonis Demetriou (University of Manchester, UK)
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 23
Source title: Handbook of Research on Mobility and Computing: Evolving Technologies and Ubiquitous Impacts
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Maria Manuela Cruz-Cunha (Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave, Portugal) and Fernando Moreira (Portucalense University, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-042-6.ch077

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Abstract

Mobile information work, an extreme type of information work, is progressively becoming commonplace in various corporations. The availability of cheap and portable information technologies as well as the development of pervasive communication infrastructure in some parts of the world is creating scenarios where people can work from almost anyplace. Nevertheless up to now there has not been sufficient research on the particular work practices and strategies these professional workers use to be productive as they face the particular challenges of being mobile. Based on an ethnographic investigation of the experiences of mobile professional workers in a multi-national accountancy company (Bengo), this chapter discusses some characteristics defining the character of modern information work with regards mobility and connectivity while operating outside the workplace. Our study highlights the importance of: location in terms of providing an adequate atmosphere and infrastructure to conduct work; regularity in terms of giving workers flexibility to connect and reconnect whenever it was more convenient for them; space in terms of letting people preserve and reconstruct their information workspaces; and balance while juggling between personal and work related commitments. The findings presented can be useful for defining the processes and technological tools supporting mobile professional workers.

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