Exploring the Vision of "Anytime, Anywhere" in the Context of Mobile Work

Exploring the Vision of "Anytime, Anywhere" in the Context of Mobile Work

Mikael Wiberg (Umea University and Viktoria Institute, Sweden) and Fredrik Ljungberg (Umea University and Viktoria Institute, Sweden)
Copyright: © 2001 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-98-8.ch009
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This chapter explores the vision of “anytime, anywhere” in the context of mobile work. The exploration is done empirically. Using qualitative research methods, we studied to what extent the work tasks they do are dependent on time and place. We analyzed the data using a 2x2 matrix, with the two axes “time” and “space,” which both have the categories “dependent” and “independent.” One of the four situations is “anytime, any where,” while the other three are dependent on time, place or both. We found instances of work in all four categories. Some traveling seems very difficult to escape, simply because there are places that staff need to visit physically to do their job. For example, to repair a telephone pole, you need to go there. We also found there are timeframes that staff cannot escape. For example, rebooting parts of the telephone network has to be done at night. Lastly, there are work tasks that seem pretty much independent of time and space, e.g., scheduling and rescheduling of activities. Accordingly, the vision of “anytime, anywhere” is not easy to realize in the case of the mobile workers we studied.

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