The Evolving Workplace Professor Glenn Lyons Centre for Transport & Society University of the West of England, Bristol, UK...
Overview <ul><li>Notions of work and communications </li></ul><ul><li>Insights from our own research </li></ul><ul><li>Que...
Technological transformations <ul><li>email </li></ul><ul><li>document sharing </li></ul><ul><li>mobile phone and mobile i...
The scope and study of teleworking <ul><li>Travelling  to/from  work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>homeworking (home-based; occasi...
Part-day homeworking
Adoption Levels in UK for further information see “Home-based working using communication technologies”
Part-day homeworking <ul><li>Could homeworking be  displacing  commutes as well as replacing them? </li></ul><ul><li>Full-...
Patterns in daily travel in Great Britain – all trips: 1998/2003
Findings from national survey <ul><li>Proportion of full-time employees who VST-work is more than double that for H (14% v...
Interview findings (1 of 4) <ul><li>Planning of work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BVST – planned; VST – mainly ad hoc (H likely t...
Interview findings (2 of 4) <ul><li>Domestic/personal motivations for VST: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More common amongst women...
Interview findings (3 of 4) <ul><li>BVST working </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More consciously associated with homeworking than V...
Interview findings (4 of 4) <ul><li>Attitudes towards (B)VST </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Perceived attitudes of colleagues impin...
Observations <ul><li>Granularity of flexibility  is what distinguishes VST from H – finer granularity means: easier assign...
Social practices surrounding meetings “ Meetings are indispensable when you don't    want to do anything  ” John Kenneth G...
Observations <ul><li>Briefcase travel can have huge economic significance </li></ul><ul><li>The paucity of empirical insig...
Shedding more light <ul><li>Degree of location dependence  (and determinants of location – tradition, boundedly rational o...
An individual’s considerations Overriding justification? Opportunity cost/benefit Assuming co-present meeting proceeds Pre...
Travel time use
Mixed-method approach <ul><li>National Rail Passengers Survey – Nov 2004; 26,221 responses  </li></ul><ul><li>Focus groups...
NRPS – business travellers % of ‘most time’ respondents Employer’s time or my time? Time well spent – hardly wasted Don’t ...
NRPS – business travellers <ul><li>“ in terms of your paid employment is there some work that could easily be undertaken o...
Taking a closer look…  <ul><li>The importance of reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Ideal commute is about 20 minutes </li></ul>
Taking a closer look <ul><li>transition time  - a need for experiencing distance and the opportunity for gearing up to the...
Life roles – blurring boundaries <ul><li>ICTs are blurring boundaries – working at home; personal activities at work </li>...
Questions for the BEN <ul><li>How much of a bearing does a look at the evolving nature of work and workplace communication...
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BEN Event - Cloud Computing - Lyons

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BEN Event - Where's the Silver Lining - 9th March 2010

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BEN Event - Cloud Computing - Lyons

  1. 1. The Evolving Workplace Professor Glenn Lyons Centre for Transport & Society University of the West of England, Bristol, UK 2 nd March 2010 Where is the Silver Lining? Opportunities from cloud computing 9 March 2010
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Notions of work and communications </li></ul><ul><li>Insights from our own research </li></ul><ul><li>Questions for the BEN </li></ul>
  3. 3. Technological transformations <ul><li>email </li></ul><ul><li>document sharing </li></ul><ul><li>mobile phone and mobile internet </li></ul><ul><li>virtual presence, virtual presenteeism </li></ul><ul><li>appetite for asynchronous communication </li></ul><ul><li>increasing spatio-temporal flexibility </li></ul>
  4. 4. The scope and study of teleworking <ul><li>Travelling to/from work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>homeworking (home-based; occasional) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>telecentre working </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CTS study of part-day homeworking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Travelling during the course of work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>asynchronous telecommunicating (email) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>teleconferencing (audio or video conferencing – one to one or one to many) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CTS thinkpiece on social practices surrounding meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Working while travelling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>telecommunicating (synchronous and asynchronous) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>travel time use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CTS study on travel time use in the information age </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Part-day homeworking
  6. 6. Adoption Levels in UK for further information see “Home-based working using communication technologies”
  7. 7. Part-day homeworking <ul><li>Could homeworking be displacing commutes as well as replacing them? </li></ul><ul><li>Full-day homeworking versus varied spatio-temporal working (VST): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>at least 30 minutes of continuous work takes place at home and in the usual workplace in any given day </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Business VST: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>at least 30 minutes of continuous work is undertaken at home as well as work being undertaken at business location(s) which may not include the usual ‘workplace’ (such as offsite visits, external meetings etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>National 4-wave survey of UK labour force – c1000 respondents </li></ul><ul><li>25 in-depth interviews addressing public sector (B)VST </li></ul>
  8. 8. Patterns in daily travel in Great Britain – all trips: 1998/2003
  9. 9. Findings from national survey <ul><li>Proportion of full-time employees who VST-work is more than double that for H (14% versus 6%) </li></ul><ul><li>Blue collar workers practice more VST than H </li></ul><ul><li>W-H most common form of VST (Monday is most popular VST day) </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence of some commute displacement associated with VST </li></ul><ul><li>No appreciable increase detected over three-year period (2005-2008) </li></ul>W-H – work at workplace then work at home H-W – work at home then work at workplace
  10. 10. Interview findings (1 of 4) <ul><li>Planning of work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BVST – planned; VST – mainly ad hoc (H likely to be planned) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Work-related motivations for VST: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Needing to achieve focus on particular work task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needing to restore lost focus (common reason for ad hoc W-H) following a mental dip during the afternoon </li></ul></ul>“ I need to get away from my desk, a change of scene, but I can't lose any time. So if I was to get away from my desk here and go and talk to somebody for 20 minutes it would be lost time, but walking back to my car, getting home and then going okay let’s tackle the monster, is a lot more effective.” (Female)
  11. 11. Interview findings (2 of 4) <ul><li>Domestic/personal motivations for VST: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More common amongst women, especially mothers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spreading homeworking entitlement across more days </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Travel-related motivations for VST: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Delaying or advancing commute to avoid congestion (tasks such as emailing used to fill-in time with former) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not always the main reason but travel-related effects felt </li></ul></ul>“ It’s surprising, I only do an hour that morning [working at home prior to attending a weekly private appointment] but it does make a difference, the journey into work is quicker, less traffic, and I just feel a bit more relaxed that day.” (Female)
  12. 12. Interview findings (3 of 4) <ul><li>BVST working </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More consciously associated with homeworking than VST </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Principally motivated by travel reasons – avoidance of excess driving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parking problems encourage BVST (and discourage H-W) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Overworking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most were clear on a distinction between VST and overworking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However, email is blurring the distinction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VST can ease the burden of overworking (and still influence timing of commute) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Interview findings (4 of 4) <ul><li>Attitudes towards (B)VST </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Perceived attitudes of colleagues impinge upon VST practice: H – “out of sight, out of mind” BVST – “makes sense” W-H – “finishing work early?” H-W – “explain yourself” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concerns about presenteeism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A lot of people preferred H to VST (though liking both) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VST, BVST and H seen to fulfil different needs for different people at different times </li></ul></ul>“ If you come in the morning and you go in the evening it doesn’t actually matter what you do, as long as you are here.” (Male)
  14. 14. Observations <ul><li>Granularity of flexibility is what distinguishes VST from H – finer granularity means: easier assignment of tasks to locations/environments; easier accommodation of spatio-temporal constraints; and more job roles suitable for occasional homeworking </li></ul><ul><li>Growth potential is unclear (82% of UK workforce consider it impossible for them to work at home at all) but: point of saturation may be moving upwards; and likely to be higher for (B)VST than H </li></ul><ul><li>(B)VST desirable for employers : easier commutes; addressing productivity dips; rejuvenative role of commute; changing working environments; staff wellbeing increased productivity </li></ul>
  15. 15. Social practices surrounding meetings “ Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything ” John Kenneth Galbraith
  16. 16. Observations <ul><li>Briefcase travel can have huge economic significance </li></ul><ul><li>The paucity of empirical insight and understanding is remarkable </li></ul><ul><li>Government ‘solution’: speeding up journeys </li></ul><ul><li>Other options: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>reducing opportunity cost through productive travel time use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>diminishing the (relative) incidence of co-present encounters in business </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Greater attention must be given to understanding the social practices that comprise the construction of business encounters and their associated travel </li></ul><ul><li>An assessment of the extent to which face-to-face meetings are necessary or ‘travel dependent’ </li></ul>
  17. 17. Shedding more light <ul><li>Degree of location dependence (and determinants of location – tradition, boundedly rational optimal, seniority, constraints) </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of co-presence (beyond functional thinking, gift of travel time) </li></ul><ul><li>Travel-time ratio (a ratio threshold?, conscious consideration?) </li></ul><ul><li>Clustering of meetings (anchor meeting, reduced necessity of attendance threshold?) </li></ul>
  18. 18. An individual’s considerations Overriding justification? Opportunity cost/benefit Assuming co-present meeting proceeds Presenteeism A dominant factor? Relative importance Opportunity to influence Ex-ante and ex-post A learning process?
  19. 19. Travel time use
  20. 20. Mixed-method approach <ul><li>National Rail Passengers Survey – Nov 2004; 26,221 responses </li></ul><ul><li>Focus groups </li></ul><ul><li>Travel ethnography </li></ul>
  21. 21. NRPS – business travellers % of ‘most time’ respondents Employer’s time or my time? Time well spent – hardly wasted Don’t judge a book by its cover Activity mixtures Horses for courses Activity Spent most time (%) Spent some time (%) I made very worthwhile use of my time (%) I made some use of my time (%) My time was wasted time (%) Working/studying 31 51 42 54 2 Reading for leisure 25 47 23 63 12 Window gazing/people watching 13 53 12 58 28 Talking to other passengers 5 13 24 56 19 Sleeping/snoozing 3 13 15 57 27 Text messages/phone calls - work 2 22 39 58 2 Text messages/phone calls - personal 1 15 26 50 12 Eating/drinking 1 21 19 80 1
  22. 22. NRPS – business travellers <ul><li>“ in terms of your paid employment is there some work that could easily be undertaken on the train?” YES – 86% </li></ul><ul><li>Equipped for travel: Laptop – 20%; Mobile phone – 78%; PDA – 12% Less than half with these devices used them Using laptops/PDAs makes journeys better/quicker </li></ul><ul><li>Those passengers [all journey purposes] who consider their travel time to have been wasted are more than twice as likely to have done no advance planning of their time use than those who consider their time use to have been very worthwhile </li></ul>
  23. 23. Taking a closer look… <ul><li>The importance of reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Ideal commute is about 20 minutes </li></ul>
  24. 24. Taking a closer look <ul><li>transition time - a need for experiencing distance and the opportunity for gearing up to the destination’s demands; and </li></ul><ul><li>time out - escape from the obligations created through co-presence or fixed space that enable time for a ‘back-stage’ time to be oneself or a specific activity (e.g. reading) </li></ul><ul><li>Connected time or infected time? </li></ul>Diagram – Jain and Holley
  25. 25. Life roles – blurring boundaries <ul><li>ICTs are blurring boundaries – working at home; personal activities at work </li></ul><ul><li>Part-time working mums: the mobile phone enables home life to ‘bleed into’ work life </li></ul><ul><li>A ‘constantly available’ parenting role is created as the apron strings of parenthood are extended </li></ul><ul><li>Fragmentation: “ a process whereby a certain activity is divided into several smaller pieces which are performed at different times and/or locations” (Hubers et al, 2008) </li></ul>
  26. 26. Questions for the BEN <ul><li>How much of a bearing does a look at the evolving nature of work and workplace communication have a bearing on developments in cloud computing? </li></ul><ul><li>Should we be in the business of trying to reduce work-related travel or support or exploit it? </li></ul><ul><li>Crackberry syndrome – is quantity and pace of communication suffocating the quality of information, knowledge and exchange? </li></ul><ul><li>What role for Government – should it be inactive, reactive or proactive in terms of how ICTs are impacting upon business practices and work-related travel? </li></ul>

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