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Moving between places
How do workers conduct work despite continuously changing locations in nomadic work? This paper examines how digital nomads – who combine working with traveling for pleasure and digitize work processes to achieve location-independence – create temporary work environments. We show how they solve the challenges of nomadic work: working across a variety of places, conduct focused work, and embed socially. We do so by taking an affordance lens in our qualitative study of these highly mobile knowledge workers. Through interviews and observations, we discovered that these knowledge workers enact three affordances of nomadic work: malleability, privacy, and instant sociality. Also, a comparison of typical places in nomadic work along those affordances indicated that we need to broaden our understanding of the concept workplace. These findings demonstrate that when studying location-independent work, it is essential to take place into account.
I wrote this paper together with Marleen Huysman, Svetlana N. Khapova and Evgenia I. Lysova. Many thanks also to Amanda Porter, Marlous Agterberg and Maura Soekijad for their constructive feedback. Earlier versions of this paper were accepted, peer-reviewed and presented at OLKC in 2016 (Edinburgh, Scotland), EGOS in 2017 (Copenhagen, Denmark), AOM in 2018 (Chicago, United States of America).

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