Meet you at Junction 17

a socio-technical and spatial study of the mobile office

- Award Reference Number: R000222071 -

Principal Researcher : Eric Laurier

Co-applicant and analyst : Chris Philo

Additional research : Ludovica Serratrice


Countless transport surveys enumerate, map and seek explanations for the growing number of car journeys to work, but what happens when we examine daily car journeys as work? In the era of the flexible labour force, paid work itself is recognised as taking place across a wide range of sites and is breaking down traditional boundaries between home and the workplace. Work for many of us in the late twentieth century occurs as we travel the routes and manage the boundaries that connect up the near and far. In 1993 there were estimated to be over 2 million nomadic/mobile workers in the UK of which 60,000 were car based, and that figure is likely to have grown considerably over the last 8 years. Businesses and institutions have always relied on mobile workers to some extent, but as they seek to extend their reach and to control their regions the importance of having their employees out in the field grows ever greater. Very little knowledge has been gathered about these mobile workers, even though their work practices have been undergoing considerable change as well as growth with the introduction of mobile communication technology, in particular the mobile phone. Our aim in this project has been to observe, describe and explain these mobile work practices.

Documents for downloading:

Initial Research Proposal

Final Report to ESRC

The region as a socio-technical accomplishment

Unpacking the company region with: a car, mobile phone and a few boxes

Why people say where they are on their mobile phones

Geographies of Talk

On dividing a driver's attention between multiple activities

Things to do in a traffic jam

Searching for a parking space

Maps and car journeys

Essay review of Bruno Latour's 'Aramis or the love of technology'

EL 2004