Page 165 - WHERE WE WORK - Schlegelmilch
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General discussion
workplace is less about what the place is intended for but rather how the place is perceived to be used and that as digital technologies enable continuously higher degree of flexibility and mobility (e.g., Aguinis & Lawal, 2013; Ashford et al., 2007; Colbert et al., 2016), the places of work will become even less clearly defined.
In chapter 3, I examined on what happens when the organization removes the central workplace from a worker’s repertory of places. I observed that locations were turned from individual workplaces at home to a place where teams worked. Thus, similarly to the findings in the chapter before, workplaces were situated and were defined by the activities occurring in the location rather a predefined purpose. Additionally, by focusing on the overarching level of the workplace configuration, I also found that the concept of ‘workplace’ included multiple physical locations.
In sum, while much of the literature on the topic of workplaces has focused on single, designated workplaces (e.g., offices), I found in both chapter 2 and chapter 3 that there is value in defining a workplace through the actions taken in a location and the interaction between workers and the physical environment. This emphasizes that it is crucial to critically reflect on the assumptions about what a workplace is when studying them, especially as digital technologies continue to enable digital workers to choose where to work more flexibly. In line with that, it may be a valuable change to approach it as a verb rather than a noun, thus turning form workplace to workplacing.
For future research, a key aspect to further study are the capabilities that worker and organizations need to engage in workplacing successfully in semi- and hyperspatial settings. Digital nomads are clearly part of a greater kinetic elite (Costas, 2013) who are pioneering hyperspatial settings and they can provide an example for employees whose work is also becoming increasingly autonomous (Mazmanian et al., 2013), distributed (Barley & Kunda, 2001; MacDuffie, 2007) and mobile (Johns & Gratton, 2013).

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