This paper presents an exploratory study into the use of real-time communication (RTC) systems to
support distributed work. Motivated by the authors’ dissatisfaction with theories assuming
individually rational actors, the paper suggests the idea of informated presence to capture phenomena
emerging from employees’ increasingly computer-mediated engagement with their work environment.
Four case vignettes are presented to illustrate different communicative strategies that develop in
response to presence availability updates generated by RTC systems. Drawing from Goffman’s
microsociological idea of interaction order and Zuboff’s seminal work on computer-mediated work,
the findings indicate the limitations of approaches such as information richness theory in
understanding real-time communication in organizational settings. More research is needed to
elaborate the implications of informated presence on distributed work and coordination of knowledge
Aaltonen, Aleksi and Eaton, Benjamin D., "Exploring the impact of real-time communication on media choice in the context of distributed work" (2009). ECIS 2008 Proceedings. 5.