The Mobile Workplace: Collaboration in a Vast Setting

The Mobile Workplace: Collaboration in a Vast Setting

Daniel Normark (The Interactive Institute, Sweden and Goteborg University, Sweden) and Mattias Esbjornsson (The Interactive Institute, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-530-6.ch010
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Abstract

This chapter discusses how truly mobile occupational groups relate to locations in a vast working area when collaborating with each other. It brings forth two ethnographic studies on mobile professionals working on the road. Their work setting has predominantly been described from a perspective where they are isolated in the driver’s seat. However, seeing that the environment in which they drive through constitutes their workplace, the chapter examines their relation to the surroundings when performing their tasks. The empirical data illustrates the importance of mutual understanding of locations to successfully perform collaborative tasks. For example, coordinates supplied by a GPS receiver are not sufficient in the performance of their tasks. It is rather the mutual understanding of locations, being in proximity or other visual clues that are of importance. We argue the need for a detailed understanding regarding the use of locations to succeed in the development of future mobile position-based services.

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