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2015 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences

What Makes Smart Work Successful?


Overcoming the Constraints of Time Geography
Yong-Young Kim Sangjo Oh
Konkuk University Dongyang Mirae University
kyyoung@kku.ac.kr secase@dongyang.ac.kr

Abstract applied [2-4]. The new freedom can alter how people
The era of Smart Work emerges as a means for carry out their activities and how they interact with
enabling us to overcome spatial and temporal others, which may eventually lead to changes in the
constraints. Smart Work means the work that spatial and temporal distribution of travels [5].
individuals perform from a physical distances for their The era of Smart Work is upon us for overcoming
organizations in a flexible and innovative manner spatial and temporal constraints with advances in
using mobile devices such as smartphones. Thanks to mobile information technology [6]. Organizations
the Smart Work affordances with seamless access support tasks and services for their employees
enabled by using mobile computing devices, providing smart devices and seamless connections. In
organizations can assign tasks to employees and addition, by adopting Smart Work, they are able to
provide services to the appropriate customers in reconfigure organizational activities and task
mobile environments. In addition, Smart Work can help coordination and collaboration processes. Through
improve the sharing of knowledge in the coordination these activities, organizations seek to achieve the goal
and collaboration among individuals and groups to dramatically improve efficiency and performance.
performing organizational tasks. Smart Work can even Smart Work is emerging as a means to help
help the innovation of previously unimagined services organizations realize their goals by bringing them
for completely new customer segments. The dramatic closer to the ubiquitous computing environment.
performance improvement is manifest by utilization of However, there is little empirical research focusing
Smart Work in organizations. Therefore, the interest in on the propositions regarding new flexibility and
the introduction of Smart Work is growing. With the freedom in the era of Smart Work. It is, however,
lens of time-geography, this study investigates what crucial to gain a better understanding of human
makes Smart Work successful. This research, behavior utilizing Smart Work in organizations. Time
especially, concentrates on the infrastructure and geography, proposed by Hgerstarand [7], provides an
processes for overcoming the spatial and temporal effective approach of studying the relationships
constraints in the field. A case study of the Seoul between various constraints and human activities in a
Metropolitan Rapid Transit Talk & Flash (SMRT T&F) space-time context. Smart Work enables the
is developed and analyzed through the framework of overcoming of spatial-temporal constraints by
time-geography and communication cube, and the improving the flexibility for human-to-human as well
implementation processes and success factors of SMRT as humanto-machine interactivity. Therefore, this
T&F are investigated. study explores two research questions: what is the
infrastructure to successfully operate Smart Work; how
a mobile work force leverages Smart Work to
1. Introduction overcome spatial-temporal constraints and to transform
existing behavior into new and innovative working
As Kurkland and Bailey [1] forecasted, new patterns in the organizations.
patterns of work enabled by the use of information The remaining parts of this paper are organized into
communication & technology (ICT) - home-based six sections. The next section reviews previous
telecommuting, satellite office, neighborhood work literature on Smart Work, time geography and ICT,
center, mobile work - have significant implications for and interactivity. Then, based on that discussion, an
working pattern. Mobile computing provides much adjusted cube framework of communication modes is
promise for organizations, for example, the small size presented. Through the framework, a case of Smart
and wireless connectivity associated with some of Work, Seoul Metropolitan Rail Transit Talk & Flash
these devices introduce new flexibility in terms of (SMRT T&F) is analyzed. Finally, theoretical and
when, where, and how these technologies can be

1530-1605/15 $31.00 2015 IEEE 1038


DOI 10.1109/HICSS.2015.128
practical implications are proposed and future research This paper explores the case of Seoul Metropolitan
questions are also presented. Rail Transit (SMRT) adopting a type of a mobile work
and being one of the most successful Smart Work cases
2. Literature Review in Korea.

2.2. Time Geography Theory and Information


2.1. Smart Work
Technology
In order to understand the concept of Smart Work,
Individual activities depend on specific space and
we need to go back to 1970s. In the 1970s, when
time [14]. Time-geography originates with Swedish
office automation was realized, the terms, distance
geographer Hgerstrand who views time and space as
work [8] and telecommuting, meaning that an
different but not inseparable [15]. Time geography
individual works at home, were coined [9]. In 1970s,
constitutes a useful perspective for analyzing human
one of hottest topics being discussed in academic and
movement in an integrated space-time environment
practical areas was that the new work style of
and explains individuals activities using a trajectory of
transferring data replaced the traditional work style of
tasks that individual performs during a given period
individuals needing to travel from place to place.
[16].
Under this background both distance work and
Generally, three assumptions of time geography are
telecommuting were invented. After the new work
as following: first, everyone has 24 hours in a day;
style of transferring data was realized with the
second, no one can be in more than one place at a time;
advancement of ICT, both researchers and practitioners
and finally, no one can move instantaneously from one
became significantly interested in teleworking via
place to another [17]. These assumptions limit
dispersed locations [10]. Telework, e-work, virtual
individual activities, which are constrained by
team, and virtual organization were newly developed
capability, coupling, and authority [7]. First, capability
to explain the advanced teleworking.
constraint occurs by individual physical and biological
Smart Work is an emerging term describing the
capability. For example, individual activities are
telework that individuals perform in a smart and
restricted by both physical capability like walking and
innovative manner using mobile devices such as
running speed, eye sight, and hearing as well as by
smartphones. Originally, Smart Work meant work
biological capability such as eating and sleeping.
smart [11]. Smart Work can be regarded as an
Second, coupling constraint takes place when the
extended version of telecommuting or distance work
individual has to stay at a specific place for a time to
and defined as working efficiently and conveniently
interact with other(s) and complete his/her task.
regardless of time and place utilizing ICT.[12].
Finally, authority constraint limits individual activities
Therefore Smart Work is regarded as an extended
by regulation and law prohibiting access to a specific
concept of telework rather than a new concept.
place and (or) time.
According to Korea Communications Commission
Under the constraints of time-geography, individual
(2011), 136 out of 1,794 major companies (7.7%) in
activities are explained using three dimensional model
Korea adopted tablet PCs and the Korean government
as presented at Figure 1 [18]. Place is represented with
plans to make Smart Work environment until 2015 so
two dimensional plane, time (e.g., from t1 to t2) is
that 30% of the whole labor is able to work efficiently
represented with another dimension. On the left hand
regardless of time and place. In Korea, various types of
side of Figure 1, space-time path is made connecting
Smart Work are attempted to make working time and
station that is a space where tasks are performed.
place flexible.
Activity bundle is made when an individual interacts
Though types of Smart Work is not defined,
with others on the same station. If a space-time path is
generally Smart Work is categorized into four types
expanded, a domain is represented where people can
[13]; first, telecommuting which means employees
access under a specific constraint, and it is called
work at home connecting organizational network such
space-time prism [19]. In the space-time model, space-
as virtual private network (VPN); second, working at
time path is made following individuals actual
Smart Work center meaning that the employees go to
activities, while space-time prism represents
a Smart Work center at the nearest distance and
accessibility under the same condition. It is possible to
perform his/her work at that location; mobile work
follow individual activities using the coordinates with
meaning that field workers perform their task using
space and time, and to find the potential domain where
mobile devices such as a smartphone or tablet PC; and
the individual can access. A general way of traditional
finally flexible work or flex hours meaning that the
interaction is to select one path out of the possible
employee is in control of his/her starting and stopping
paths and to configure the actual path.
work times.

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With the advances in ICT which mitigate spatial 2.3. Person-to-Machine versus Person-to-
and temporal constraints, more flexible interaction is Person interactivity
possible. Above all, through telepresence which is The widespread adoption of ICT has created a
configured in cyberspace developed with networking parallel virtual space in addition to the conventional
technology, people are freed from the spatial-temporal physical space. The virtual space, also known as
constraints [20]. Two basic assumptions of time cyberspace, is supported by ICT infrastructure and
geography are broken with an emergence of facilities in physical space, and it carries the flow of
telepresence; one can be in more than one place at a information. The existence of virtual space enhances
time and one can move instantaneously from one place connections among people through electronic linkages
to another. ICT enables us to communicate with one and allows people to exchange information even while
another during times of travel. they occupy different physical locations. This enhances
Originally, a wired telephone is designed for the ability of individuals to participate in an activity
synchronous interaction between a sender and a remotely, known as telepresence in the literature [20].
receiver. Later voice-mail telephones emerged, where a Space and time are each categorized into two sub-
wired telephone could support asynchronous categories. Time is categorized into synchronous and
interaction. In addition, as the bandwidth of the wired asynchronous time based on the criterion whether
internet expanded, asynchronous interaction such as e- individuals share the same time. Space is
mail as well as synchronous interaction such as online subcategorized into physical presence and telepresence
chatting and teleconferencing became widely used. based on whether the individual interaction occurs is
A wired channel has a vital weakness in that physical or virtual places [21]. Before ICT emerged,
individuals are restricted to areas for interacting with communication with one another is possible when they
one another as shown in the middle of Figure 1. Here share the same space and time. With the advances in
an individual is required to use a specific device ICT, however, cyberspace was developed enabling the
installed at a specific place; hence his/her activity is separation of space and time. ICT has created an
constrained at that place until he/she finishes their evolving cyberspace beyond interactions restricted to
interactions with others. This is an example showing a the same place and same time.
strong coupling constraint between space and time. Generally, coupling is defined as a relationship
The activities could be represented as a space-time life between a certain A and a certain B [22]. In time
line, where the scope that an individual activates is geography, an important coupling is the relationship
restricted. between space and time. Coupling has a basic attribute;
As an individual carries mobile devices for a relationship may be tied strongly (called tightly
communicating, a wireless channel could provide more coupling) or weakly (called loosely coupling) [23].
free and flexible interaction than a wired one [19]. As Traditional space and time is a relationship that is
shown on the right hand side of Figure 1, an individual tightly coupled and never to be separated from each
carrying a mobile device is able to interact with others other [19]. With the advances in ICT, spatial-temporal
free from a restricted place. In other words, he/she can coupling has been loosened and decoupled, and
interact with other within the space-time life cylinder. cyberspace has created new spatial-temporal coupling
In the case of using a mobile channel, wireless such as telepresence.
communication provides more flexible interaction with It is common for users to interact with both
others for individuals overcoming traditional spatial- computers as well as with other persons using
temporal constraints compared to wired computers. Recently, through telepresence computer-
communication. mediated communication shows the evolution of
person-to-person interaction and provides opportunities
space-time path space-time life lines space-time life cylinder to use various communication methods with both wired
Time and wireless networks. Computer-based interaction is
divided into two main types: person-to-machine and
t2
person-to-person. Person-to-machine interactivity is
interacting with the medium itself (e.g., computer).
Person-to-person interactivity, on the other hand, is
using the medium as a tool for communication [24].
t1
Space What distinguishes person-to-machine from person-
L1 L2 L1
to-person interactivity is who or what causes the
no access channel wired access channel wireless access channel feedback [25]. In person-to-machine interactivity, the
Figure 1. Features of Channel Types [18] machine itself has the agency for feedback, while in
person-to-person interactivity, the persons

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communicating provide the feedback. Person-to- In order to achieve the research objective to provide
machine interactivity stresses the programmed what is the infrastructure to successfully operate Smart
interaction procedure. The machine makes judgments Work and how a mobile work force leverages Smart
or decisions only on the basis of its program [26]. On Work to overcome spatial-temporal constraints, this
the other hand, person-to-person interactivity focuses study followed the procedure and ways of case study
on the process of interactive communication between provided by Benbasat et al. [29] and Yin [30].
persons. Interaction between people has a high level of Generally, we followed interpretive research approach
unpredictability which people do not experienced and linear-analytic structure for writing cases [30].
through interacting with the machine. The response of Data collection followed procedures provided by
a prior message might be uncertain because the Yin [29] and Bonoma [31]. First, we collected
human has potential for transcending his or her secondary data a variety of sources. After writing a
programming, on the basis either of reason or of draft, we verified and confirmed it through interviews
emotion [26]. Interactivity is not simply reaction, but and collected additional data.
rather reciprocity, wherein participants in the exchange We collected data following two stages. At the first
can freely take turns and reverse roles: It is a process- stage, secondary data were collected from various
related construct about communication [27]. sources such as promotional material by SMRT, data
Figure 2 provides a comprehensive communication from Internet searching, newspapers, magazines and so
cube considering all of above-mentioned factors: space, on finding SMRTs current state of Smart Work. A
time, and interaction actor. Although Smart Work can draft was made based on these data.
support face-to-face interaction, a typical interaction of Data searching using the Internet is as follows: first,
physical presence, it plays a significant role of some keywords were searched like smart work,
expanding a range of interaction based on telepresence. smart office, flexible working, teleworking and so
We would like to focus on the telepresence domain, on using Google and Naver, one of the largest
where the activity can be performed remotely through search engines in Korea; second, from the search
the enablement of ICT. results, the data were filtered to include the contents of
SMRT T&F introduced by SMRT. The final search
INTERACTION
Machine
results included academic material, business
ACTOR
Person presentation, articles from newspaper and magazine,
broadcasting material and so on. We made a draft of a
Synchronous Smart Work case of SMRT.
TIME
During the second stage, the first author visited
Asynchronous
headquarters of SMRT and interviewed several key
persons in the organization including the CIO
Physical
Telepresence
responsible for SMRT Smart Work project (see Table
Presence
SPACE 1.). These interviews helped verify reliability and
Figure 2. Communication Cube validity of our draft including the implementation,
operation, and performance of SMRT T&F based on
The core of Smart Work is to overcome spatial- the secondary data.
temporal constraints and time geography provides a
solution by theorizing both the decoupling from Table 1. List of Interviewees
spatial-temporal constraints. The telepresence domain Name Title Division
of Communication Cube can explain the process of Division Information System
J. Lee
continuously decoupling spatial-temporal constraints Head/CIO Planning Division
with the advancement of ICT. Deputy General Information System
K. Cho
Manager Planning Division
Deputy General Technology
3. Research Methodology S. Park
Manager Management Division

The case study object of this paper is SMRT T&F, The interview took around two hours. The
a mobile work type of Smart Work which SMRT built interview consisted of two main parts. The first part
up. The reason we selected this case is that SMRT have included general status such as the background of the
utilized their Smart Work actively and successfully. In introduction to SMRT T&F, the status of distributing
addition, we considered both the suitability for smartphones at SMRT, and future plans related to
academic analysis and the theoretical and practical Smart Work. The other part was made up with question
meaning being able to be referred by organizations items asking for performance of SMRT T&F through
considering the adoption of Smart Work [28]. the lens of time-geography. The questions included the

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following area in detail: evaluation of the introduction systematically, processed tasks efficiently, and
to SMRT T&F systems, ICT infrastructure for the improved passengers satisfaction.
operation of Smart Work, regulation modified after The strong wireless network infrastructure is one of
adopting SMRT T&F, and cases of tasks overcoming driving forces for implementing SMRT T&F.
spatial and (or) temporal constraints. The interviews WCDMA, one of 3rd generation mobile
provided the opportunities to verify and confirm items communications systems, supports internet access to
listed on our draft as well as to collect additional data almost nationwide area but has some limitations for
such as internal reports and internal regulation after photo transfer and group communications because of
adopting Smart Work. All of interviews were tape- costs and speed. This problem was solved with massive
recorded and documented, which were utilized for file transfers and free communications over WiBro
writing the case and analysis. covering 148 stations and facilities with 158 kilometer
railroads. Wi-Fi was installed in the stations and
4. A Case Study on Smart Work enables notebook computers and smartphones access to
high-speed internet.
First, this network infrastructure eliminates spatial
4.1. Introduction to SMRT
constraint by expanding accessibility. It can provide
collaboration through seamless access and
Seoul metropolitan rail transit, one of companies communications. Within the organization, employees
operating subway in Seoul and suburban, was can use all of three mobile networks. WiBro is used the
established in 1994 with the objectives of most frequently because it can provide high speed and
development of urban transportation, providing safe wide bandwidth as well as free phone calls, multi-user
and rapid public transit, and contribution to citizen calls (up to 20 persons), emergency calls, and video
welfare. After the establishment, they had opened and call services. In addition, engineers could download
operated successful four lines from 5th, to 8th line. his/her daily work schedule during rush hour accessing
They also hold and manage 148 stations and facilities WCDMA network. Sometimes, they could utilize
with 158 kilometer railroads. Passengers using these mobile devices supporting Wi-Fi network access such
lines a day are up to 3.35 million and sales a year 2009 as notebook computers and tablet PC etc.
was 514.2 billion dollar won. In February in 2010, Second, a hardware device, Omnia II Show, played
there were totally 6,438 workers including both office a key role for SMRT to adopt and operate the Smart
worker of 1,950 and engineers of 4,488. Work. This high performance smartphone provides
In January 2010, wireless networks like WCDMA portability and instant accessibility with almost zero
(wideband code division multiple access), WiBro travel time for engineers. Omnia II Show was the
(wireless broadband), and Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) worlds first smartphone being able to access three
were added to New UTIMS, which could support field- types of wireless networks such as WCDMA, Wi-Fi,
oriented work structure implementing and combining and WiBro. It had 800 Mhz CPU, 4 giga-byte
both wired and wireless networks. In addition, memories, and was installed Windows Mobile 6.1 as
smartphones were distributed freely to all of employees, operating systems. In addition, 500 mega-pixel camera
who could work in mobile environment. Therefore was embedded and provided smooth video-
using Smart Work, all of employees could make conferencing and bar-code scanning. With this function,
checking facilities and reporting errors or problems all employees and staff can communicate with one
immediately as well as they could make a decision another and scan the bar codes easily. Machinery
rapidly. failures in the facilities are easily tracked by, scanning
In the next section, we use a time-geography the bar code and seamlessly collecting the information;
perspective to identify the key factors from the case of hence, an employee can easily monitor and report on
SMRT T&F for successfully adopting Smart Work. the status of facility machinery to the command and
control center (CCC).
4.2. Overcoming Capability Constraint Finally, SMRT developed 3,000 applications being
able to be installed on Omnia II Show. 5678 Service
SMRT completed the implementation of SMRT Division is responsible for planning and developing as
T&F in January 2010 in order to manage the facilities well as maintaining these applications based on Java
using smartphones in real time. They provided language. Through continuous maintenance and repair,
smartphone terminals, Omnia II Show, for all they accumulate their capability and apply it to develop
employees and their staff. By using the new Smart the applications for general administration such as
Work systems, they have managed the facilities human resources management, accounting
management, and so on. Therefore, they are making

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progress to include all the processes of general It took a long time to solve the problem facing an
administration. emergency situation because I didnt know who was in
SMRT T&F enabled users to extend their physical charge and to whom I had to call. Since we used smart
and biological capability improving the individual work, I can search for the person in charge and
mobility, the ability of an individual to move itself, contact him. In addition, I can communicate with
information, goods, or some other object between various employees with expertise using emergency
places in the physical world or places within call service and multi-user call service. By talking
cyberspace [32]. Various abilities such as accessibility with them, I can reduce the time to solve the problem.
and portability were provided by SMRT T&F. In (J. Lee)
addition, physical abilities were extended by it. With
the lens of Hall [33]s extension concept, smartphone Video call service and multi-user call service
could be an extension of head, camera be that of eye, enables employees to collaborate with others anywhere.
telephone be that of voice and hearing, and network be Through this collaboration, checking and maintenance
that of arms and legs. Through providing and quality could be improved. For example, if an engineer
extending various abilities, SMRT T&F overcame the encounters a problem which he cannot resolve while
existing capability constraints. checking the equipment, he can use his smartphone to
ask colleagues or his team manager for a solution.
4.3. Overcoming Coupling Constraint Through video call service, he can see a concrete way
to solve the problem. Video call service is more helpful
to finish the work efficiently because it can provide
4.3.1. Synchronous-Telepresence-Person. After
images as well as voice. This new procedure to process
developing Smart Work, other case not being tied to a
a task leads to service quality improvement.
place is as follows; it is possible for a train driver to
communicate after leaving drivers seat. While trains
are operated, they might be out of order. When a Now all of employees can see the standard
breakdown occurs, the driver leaves his seat to look all manual and the standard operation procedure (SOP)
around carefully. In the past, he loses contact with added on it. However, both of them cannot support a
headquarters. However, after adopting SMRT T&F, detailed procedure. Even this part can be supported
although the driver leaves his seat, communication is through video call service. In the past, after going out
maintained, and the CCC gets the picture in real-time. to the field an engineer had to fix the problem. But now,
After SMRT T&F, in the environment of on the way to the field, an engineer can find out the
decoupling space and time, collaborative work is situation and can consider the cause of the problem or
facilitated. In the past, when difficulties occurred how to fix it. In addition, if he cannot fix it by himself,
during working at a field, an engineer used his private he can use the video call service or the multi-user
mobile phone, so he was concerned about these service and fix it. (S. Park)
communication costs. In addition, in the emergency
situation, it is necessary for many employees to SMRT T&F enable SMRT to realize real-time
communicate to one another simultaneously to solve collaboration. Through various wireless networks,
the problem properly. Before adopting SMRT T&F, it employees can discuss problems with their colleagues,
is impossible to communicate to one another except ask for advice, and find solutions. Smart Work plays an
face-to-face. However, after implementing SMRT T&F important role for collaboration, and this new way to
building WiBro, supporting free communication, and process a task can improve service quality, efficiency,
enabling emergency call and multi-user call and innovation.
services, processing time is reduced and service quality In this paper, decoupling was occurred when
is improved. existing coupling constraints were surmounted after
Emergency call service is a way to interrupt the adopting SMRT T&F. Before adopting SMRT T&F,
current call of the receiver and to communicate with field workers had to report to the office to confirm
him/her in the emergency situation. For example, if their daily task assignments. This was a spatial
CEO wants to talk with head of CCC, firstly two constraint where they were tied to the office to view
messages are notified by the Smart Work systems; first, and input data via a computer for filling out the
CEO wants to talk with you; and second, do you checklist. However, after adopting Smart Work, a new
want to take this call. If the head answer yes, the working environment was created freeing employees
current call ends and a new call between CEO and the from this place constraint. Field workers could now go
head is connected. This way is possible because SMRT to the field directly, check facilities, report the
configures the internal network through WiBro.

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resulting data to the systems, and finish his/her work monitored through a smartphone. Now, CCTV could
out in the field. be controlled remotely.

4.3.2. Asynchronous-Telepresence-Person/Machine. 4.4. Overcoming Authority Constraint


SMRT T&F has newly connected between space and
time and has transformed ways of businesses with With the adoption of SMRT T&F, some business
improving both richness [34] and synchronicity [35] of processes were changed. In order to support these
interaction. In the past, when equipment failed, the changes, SMRT changed some regulations. For
exact problem was not normally reported. What was example, SMRT enacted a provision to permit
worse, broken systems were usually reported as engineers to go to field without reporting to the office.
working fine to the operation management office. One They also changed the form of checklist which was
of reasons why this problem occurred was that there used the most frequently. In the past, an engineer had
was no system that the employees could use for to check items which were not to be done daily. So
properly tracking maintenance and repairs for facilities SMRT needed to coordinate time cycles to match new
or equipment that were reported as being in a failed business processes. As the result, SMRT eliminated
state (e.g., location of equipment, problem types, etc.). more than half of checking items and revised company
However, the existing business process using text regulations considering checking cycle, checking items,
and speech was changed into the way using barcode checking criteria and so on.
scanning of facilities and equipment. This scanning Until July 2010, SMRT have revised company
data is reported directly to operation management regulations three times. In the fields of electricity,
office and the accuracy of reports has been improved. facilities, signal, communication, electronics, railroad,
In addition, after checking the failure history and the equipment, and architecture, SMRT reduced 43 of
failed part of broken equipment, the engineer then goes checking cycles into 32 and they diminished 2,967
out to fix the failure in a timely manner. Interaction is checking items into 1,489. In addition, the previous
rich because of not only text and voice communication, checking criteria with good, poor, O, X was changed
but also images (e.g., a photo taken a picture a failed into five levels of A (very good), B (good), C (fair), D
part) can be transferred. In addition, an employee is (poor), and E (very poor) following the criteria being
able to check the failure history of the equipment and, applied to SMRT T&F. The reason why SMRT
sometimes, can refer to the electronic manual. institutionalized new business processes following
SMRT T&F is to continue the improved processes. If
4.3.3. Synchronous-Telepresence-Machine. In the the process was ignored, the confusion might be
past, it is possible to make an announcement only in intensified on the Smart Work system which had been
the office. An employee could not get out the office to built with much difficulty. The importance of process
hear the passengers who waited for the train institutionalization was confirmed with an interview
impatiently and make a quick response to them. emphasizing the interaction between organization and
However, after implementing SMRT T&F, an information systems as well as the necessity of revision
employee makes an announcement freely in the station of regulations
or on the platform, not being tied to a specific place
like an office. The performance related to this case Organization and (information) systems together
could be confirmed following an interview; have been improved and developed continuously. I
think that this is self-evolving and developing
In the past, the station agent wanted to go to the systems. I always say to my subordinates that we
platform and hear the passengers directly, but he had are making (information) systems reengineering
to stay in the office to make an announcement. Now business processes. After systems being applied to
smart work supports making announcements anywhere, work-site operations, company regulation should be
so he can go to the platform. It makes him comfortable revised immediately. (J. Lee)
to be able to make announcements from a distant
station. (K. Cho) 5. Discussion
In addition, in past time only at the surveillance This study answers two research questions. For the
room, closed-circuit television (CCTV) could be first question, what is the infrastructure to successfully
monitored, which made a strong place constraint. operate Smart Work, time geography theory suggests
However, after adopting SMRT T&F, CCTV could be that the ICT infrastructure and the institutionalization
are necessary condition to overcome spatial and

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temporal constraints. In order to answer the second overcoming coupling constraints by smoothly utilizing
question, we explore the possibility of integrating time both synchronous and asynchronous telepresence as
geography theory and communication cube. The well as by facilitating human-to-machine interactivity.
findings provides how a mobile work force leverages Finally, new SMRT Smart Work processes can be
Smart Work to overcome spatial-temporal constraints quickly institutionalized. Unless regulations were
and to transform existing behavior into new and revised, Smart Work could not be stabilized and
innovative working patterns in the organizations. institutionalized quickly.
SMRT had high performance after adopting Smart The costs investing the implementation of Smart
Work. We need to consider how the organization Work is forecasted up to 10.2 billion Korean won
experiences greater flexibility through Smart Work. including smartphone buying costs and communication
We can find out that overcoming three types of fees. However, for five years, almost 28.4 billion
constraints is the most important to implement SMRT Korean won is expected for direct operational costs to
T&F successfully. First, the use of the ICT enables the be reduced [36]. The internal communication called
overcoming of capability constraints for implementing soft phone among employees is free over WiBro
Smart Work successfully. Without using the network. The soft phone is a type of internet telephone
smartphone platform, mobile networks such as WiBro, providing helpful services such as searching for
and mobile applications, such as SMRT T&F, would extension numbers, emergency call, multi-user call,
not work. Second, implementing the ICT infrastructure, and video call services. Through real time checking
without being actively utilized, would turn Smart Work and processing, instantaneity and accuracy were
into a white elephant. SMRT actively applied Smart improved. The time needed for checking equipment
Work to improve previous work processes for was reduced from one hour to 28 minutes on average.
Table 2. Summary on the Performance After Adopting SMRT T&F
Type of
Subcategory Description
Constraint
1. Capability Hardware Operating various applications (CPU: 800Mhz, OS: Windows Mobile 6.1 etc.)
Scanning bar codes attached to equipment (500-mega pixel camera embedded)
Software JAVA-based official applications (more than 300 applications installed)
Network WCDMA supporting to communications in nationwide area wherever base
stations are installed
WiBro supporting free communications, emergency/multi-user/video call
services in all of 148 stations and thorough 158 kilometer railroads.
Wi-Fi supporting internal access within stations.
2. Coupling STP* Smartphone has capability to check task assignment, report task completion, and
check going to and leaving work
Smartphone support continuously to communicate for a time that the driver look
around the train away his/her seat.
After adopting SMRT T&F, real-time collaboration systems were built-up using
emergency call, multi-user call, and video call services.
ATP/ATM** After smartphones were distributed, it was improved to report a problem of
equipment: scanning bar code attached on equipment and facilities, transferring
video files on failed part, searching maintenance history, utilizing electronic
manual, and so on.
STM*** Announcement with smartphones was possible during traveling in a station as
well as in other stations.
CCTV could be monitored through a smartphone without spatial constraint.
3. Authority Revising Permitting engineers to go to field without reporting to the office.
company Reducing checking cycle types: 43 types 32 types
regulations Reducing checking items: 2,967 items 1,489 items
Changing checking criteria: good, poor, O, X A (very good), B (good), C
(fair), D (poor), E (very poor)
*
STP: synchronous-telepresence-person
**
ATP/ATM: asynchronous-telepresence-person/ asynchronous-telepresence-machine
***
STM: synchronous-telepresence-machine

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Information missing is minimized as well as time geography. Through the findings provided by this
information accuracy is improved because employees study, companies can learn the importance of preparing
should input data in the field. Employees time for the ICT infrastructures and institutional policies in
efficiency is improved because the travel time between order to achieve successful outcomes by exploiting the
the office and the field is reduced and can be flexible interactivity enabled by Smart Work.
completely eliminated. In addition, the framework can be used for the
In summary, this study provides a theoretical companies to check the current operational status of
foundation to check the operating status taking into mobile work forces and to troubleshoot any mobile
account the importance of the decoupling of the spatial resource problems. The adoption of Smart Work
and temporal constraints as well as the support of ICT cannot guarantee success because they depends on the
capability and authority. continued usage of ICT [39]. The case of SMRT T&F
emphasizes the effort for institutionalization such as an
6. Theoretical and Practical Implications in-house application development and maintenance and
training of ICT human resources.
This study provides academic and practical
implications. First, from the academic perspective, this 7. Limitations and Future Research
study identifies the process of overcoming the
constraints proposed by time geography theory as well
as the relationships between the three constraints. This study deals with only the mobile office
Previous studies dealing with both the ICT and time identifying four types of Smart Work: telecommuting,
geography theory have had the following limitations: working at Smart Work center, mobile work, and
just theoretically describing the spatial-temporal flexible work. While there are shared factors between
extension [e.g., 37] or focusing on the conditions these four types, each type of Smart Work has unique
overcoming the three types of time geographical characteristics. Therefore, it would be interesting for
constraints [e.g., 38]. However, these studies focus future research to conduct an empirical study to
only on the comprehensive performance with the determine the similarities and differences between
advancement of ICT and they are insufficient to these four types.
characterize the process for overcoming the spatial- In order to generalize the findings this study
temporal constraints. This study addresses this gap by provided, future research needs to develop more cases
identifying the relationship between the time on Smart Work and apply the framework integrated
geographical constraints of capability, coupling, and with both time geography and communication cube. In
authority and the process to adopt and implement a addition, it would be one way to develop detailed items
Smart Work successfully. based on the three constraints identified through time
Second, this study reexamines research questions geography and make a Smart Work checklist to
proposed s by early studies on ubiquitous computing evaluate systematically the status of Smart Work
[e.g., 3, 4]. Smart Work satisfies the conditions of development and utilization. On the basis of the criteria,
ubiquitous computing pursuing seamless access it would be meaningful to find out the critical success
anywhere and anytime transcending both space and factors of Smart Work using cross-sectional analysis as
time. This study investigated one of their research well as longitudinal methodology.
questions suggested by Lyytinen and Yoo [3] on the
infrastructure necessary for implementing Smart Work 8. References
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