What is it about?

Drawing on data from the Sixth European Working Conditions Survey from 2015, we set out to assess the prevalence of mobile, multi-locational work in Europe (EU-28, Norway, and Switzerland). According to the results, working on mobile sites – a practice that augments working in the primary workplace – is most common in northern European countries, where the proportion of knowledge-intensive occupations is high. However, even in the Nordic region, knowledge workers predominantly work at their employers’ premises.

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Why is it important?

Our findings are in marked contrast with the hyperbole and expectations which assume that ICT allows knowledge workers to work free from the constraints of time and space. Our findings also imply that there may be more continuity in work practices than prior research (which often focuses on knowledge work) has acknowledged.

Perspectives

One surprising finding was that we found no evidence supporting claims that public spaces such as coffee shops and waiting areas are being crowded by highly educated and autonomous knowledge workers equipped with ICT. We suppose that knowledge workers need their work communities for social and work process reasons more than is often acknowledged.

Pasi Pyöriä
Tampereen yliopisto

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This page is a summary of: Mobile knowledge workers and traditional mobile workers, Acta Sociologica, August 2017, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0001699317722593.
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