This paper describes new ways to support knowledge workers when on the move. We assume that knowledge exchange happens naturally around offices, because presence and availability are clearly perceptible there. This we investigated in a survey. Office workers do not just share the physical space, but their electronic tools for communication and collaboration also afford them to interact when most appropriate. Mobile knowledge workers who lack most of these tools are therefore handicapped twice being at a different location and being blind to most electronic information cues. As a solution we propose integrated mobile availability tools to be tested in a field experiment. Connecting knowledge workers To support knowledge workers even when on the move, we have to understand the nature of knowledge work itself. Communication is the knowledge worker's oxygen and this communication is increasingly supported through information technology (IT). Yet, the underlying virtue of successful new media seems to be that they afford workers to do self-organization and time management. In this respect much can be learnt from observing work in existing offices where workers handle availability intuitively. Next to this workers increasingly use electronic agendas to communicate availability. In the future, presence and instant messaging tools may become an integral part availability management. So In other words, workers get increasingly connected. To support knowledge workers on the move, their media must keep step with the developments around the desktop, I.e., better context awareness and means for instant communication. Our "live contacts" prototype may help availability management.
|Title of host publication||Knowledge Sharing Under Distributed Circumstances|
|Editors||R.M. Verburg, J.A. de Ridder|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Number of pages||106|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|