The Impact of Telework on Information Professionals' Work Processes

Authors

  • Crystal Fulton University College at Dublin

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.29173/cais12

Abstract

Telework is growing as an alternate work arrangement in both public and private sectors. Advocates of this new form of working claim that telework enhances employee efficiency and reduces work-related expenses, such as overhead for businesses and travel expenses for employees. However, alternate work experiments not only redesign the physical workplace, but also restructure work itself. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of telework on the work done by information professionals. Through combined methods of participant observation, interviews, and diaries, the work of twenty pairs of teleworking and at-office library and information professionals, matched by job, was investigated. The study revealed that although teleworkers and at-office workers performed similar amounts of professional and clerical work, work processes differed between the two groups. Teleworkers were often missing the information and collegial interaction necessary to complete work tasks at home. As a results, teleworkers tried to cope by repeating parts of tasks at home and by dividing work tasks according to available resources. At-office workers often compensated for absent teleworking colleagues by performing additional work tasks or by helping teleworkers locate work-related information. These improvised means of working revealed that teleworkers in this study were not persons working alone with control over all aspects of their work.

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Published

2013-10-14

How to Cite

Fulton, C. (2013). The Impact of Telework on Information Professionals’ Work Processes. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of CAIS / Actes Du congrès Annuel De l’ACSI. https://doi.org/10.29173/cais12

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Section

Articles