Mobile and Virtual Work Arrangements

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Mobile and Virtual Work Arrangements

Mobile and Virtual Work Arrangements

Where Work Is Done and Who Does It: Mobile and Virtual Work Arrangements This section examines another important effect of IT on work: the ability of some employees to work anywhere at any time. With WiFi virtually ubiquitous, individual employees can connect to the Web from almost anywhere. And with powerful technologies available in the consumer space, employees often find the tools and apps they have at home function as well as, or even better than, their workplace technologies. Research also suggests that employees—especially those younger employees who have never known a world without ubiquitous access to personal smart devices and the Web—prefer to have the work–life flexibility that remote and mobile work arrange- ments provide. At the group level, virtual teams have become standard operating mechanisms to bring the best individuals available to work together on a task. We explore remote work from the perspective of both individuals and teams in the next section.

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Remote Work and Virtual Teams Flexible work arrangements, although not the norm for many organizations, have been gaining support as technologies enable employees to be “virtually present” for their employers. The terms telecommuting, mo- bile worker, and remote worker are often used to describe flexible work arrangements. Telecommuting, some- times called teleworking, refers to employees working from home, at a customer site, or from other convenient locations instead of coming into the corporate office. The word telecommute is derived from combining “tele- communications” with “commuting,” indicating that these employees use telecommunications instead of driving, or commuting, to the office. Mobile workers are those who work from wherever they are. They are outfitted with the technology necessary for access to co‐workers, company computers, intranets, and other information sources. We use the term remote workers when we refer to both telecommuters and mobile workers.

26 Kristin Burnham, “ Brings Professional Social Networking to Facebook,” (July 15, 2011), (accessed February 2, 2012).

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