Digital Nomads’ Experiences on the Support of Digital Technologies in Relation to Social Isolation
European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET)
The paper presents digital nomads’ experiences about the support of digital technologies in relation to social isolation. Despite the abundant access to digital technologies for organizational cooperative purposes, the challenge of social isolation constitutes one of the central concerns in nomadicity practices, affecting employees’ choice of working arrangements. To gain further knowledge on the subject, a qualitative interviews with digital nomads in Sweden was conducted, and the data was further interpreted and discussed in relation to concepts of computer-supported cooperative work and the theory of symbolic interactionism. Findings show that digital nomads do not experience the digital technologies they use in their work as supportive in terms of social isolation. They acknowledge the digital technologies as tools for conducting their work, not tools for interacting socially. Collective symbolic meaning is consciously assigned to the different digital technologies. The research contributes theoretically to existing knowledge within the field of computer-supported cooperative work in regard to technology-centered nomadicity as it partly fills the knowledge gap about the support of digital technologies in relation to digital nomads’ social isolation. The research also contributes practically to interested stakeholders in the sense that organizations may not benefit from using digital technologies for social interaction purposes.