Implementing tele presence robots in distance work: experiences and effects on work

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    As companies move toward globalization, companies use distance work to accomplish work more effectively and efficiently. A telepresence robot (TPR) is a mobile remote presence device that allows a two-way communication and interaction between a distance manager and the employees. The objective of the study was to improve the understanding of how distance workers and managers experience the use of TPR in the daily management and in which tasks the TPR is suitable to ensure employee well-being and thus performance. The data collection included three phases – before, during and after the implementation of the TPR, where we conducted 25 semi-structured individual and group interviews, on-site observations of the TPR in use and research notes. The distance manager (user) controlled the TPR from a distant site when using it in the home office. The managers were able to create a sense of proximity and via the camera feature, enable eye-contact, which the managers considered essential and beneficial for assessing the employee’s feelings and well-being. The majority of the users had a positive experience regarding the TPR basic functionalities´ utilization. In all three cases the participants, both managers and employees, agreed that the TPR is most useful in planned project meetings. On the other hand, the lack of trust, problems with the technology, privacy issues and intrusive emotions affected the use of the TPR in a negative way in some cases. The TPR was not suitable for meetings where people needed to share physical documents or important meetings, i.e. private talks or decisions meetings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018)
    EditorsS. Bagnara , R. Tartaglia , S. Albolino, T. Alexander, Y. Fujita
    Publication date2018
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-96079-1
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-96080-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    Event20th Congress International Ergonomics Association: Creativity in Practice - FIRENZE FIERA CONGRESS & EXHIBITION CENTER, Florence, Italy
    Duration: 26 Aug 201830 Aug 2018
    Conference number: 20


    Conference20th Congress International Ergonomics Association
    Internet address

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