The variety of computer and communication technology available on the market today has made it easier for teleworkers to work at locations other than their homes and feasible for organizations to implement other types of telework arrangements. This article is an exploratory study into the adoption of one form of telework that technological advances have made more viable: portable offices. Portable offices, as defined in this research, require employees to have access to portable computer equipment that they use to perform work outside of the conventional office environment. Access to telecommunication equipment such as a cellular telephone, modem, fax modem etc., while desirable and common, is not required by this definition. This study, based on Rogers's model of the innovation-decision process, examines three of the model's five dimensions: characteristics of adopters, the persuasion process, and the confirmation process. The sample consists of 62 users of portable technology working for organizations in the Canadian National Capital Region (Ottawa and environs). The findings indicate that portable offices are an example of an innovation that is being adopted as predicted by the theory. They appear to be a successful innovation as indicated by responses on satisfaction, intent to continue use, and advice to potential adopters. Two-thirds of the respondents indicated that their use of the portable office had increased over time. Portable offices were seen to offer a number of advantages over nonportable offices, including increased control over work, increased efficiency, and greater work-location flexibility. Eighty percent of the sample said their portable office was compatible with the computer and communications systems they were currently using and the way their organization worked; 10% felt that the portable office was compatible with the way they liked to work; and 66% indicated that the portable office was compatible with their information needs.

Adoption, Mobilework, Telework
Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce
Sprott School of Business

Duxbury, L, & Corbett, N. (Nancy). (1996). Adoption of portable offices: An exploratory analysis. Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce, 6(4), 345–363. doi:10.1080/10919399609540284