Abstract

This research-in-progress examines the mobilities of digital work. We study digital nomadism as an exemplary case of extremely mobile forms of digital working. The recent "mobile turn" in the social sciences provides us with theoretical grounds to understand societies that are increasing defined by dynamic, global environments (e.g., freelance work, globalization and migration) and less by the conventional foundations of society (e.g., lifelong employment, local economies and nation states). In this work, we are particularly interested in how and in which ways information technology (IT) makes new forms of (digital) working "mobile", unbound by conventional restrictions. To theorize the mobilities of digital work, we draw on ethnographic participant-observations and more than 100 firsthand and secondary interviews with digital nomads. The preliminary theoretical analysis reveals four interdependent mobilities of digital work: administrative mobility (working independently of organizations and businesses of others), spatial mobility (choosing where to work), temporal mobility (deciding when to work) and content mobility (freedom to determine the nature and contents of one's work). Digital nomads are the ideal-typical manifestation of the multiple mobilities of digital work.

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