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Information context and socio-technical practice of digital nomads

Nehad Ali Al-Hadi (The Main Library of SQU, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)
Ali Saif Al-Aufi (Department of Information Studies, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication

ISSN: 2514-9342

Article publication date: 10 May 2019

Issue publication date: 24 June 2019




Inspired by a task-based approach, this study aims to investigate the transformability of digital nomadic workers’ information practices by capturing the related social and technical perspectives. It concentrates on conducting an exploration of the characteristics of nomadic work from two standpoints: mobile social practices adopted by nomadic workers in their unsteady work activities and the used technical approaches.


The paper provides a clear understanding and basic insights about nomadic working trends by interviewing 21 Omani digital nomads working in large organisations or small- and medium-sized enterprises, corporation workers, creative freelancers and workers who have a multi-functional set of competencies.


Although nomadic work is still in the early stages in Oman, the study results indicate that digital nomads are able to create transient work strategies that allow them to establish their own efficient workplaces. They also have the essential abilities to take advantage of technology to support their work achievement. The findings from such research could be used to develop general thinking among workers and organisations about the role of mobile work in improving work performance and investing in modern computing and information technology applications to facilitate successful remote working.

Practical implications

The study finding can help decision makers to address socio-technical matters by ensuring that cafes, airport lounges, public places and co-working spaces can meet the particular requirements of digital nomadic workers. Additionally, the study provides programmers with useful context on workers’ behaviour in relation to distance work, which could encourage them to develop new and local applications and potentially boost nomadic work.


There have been no empirical studies exist that cover key issues related to nomadic workers in the region. This study is the first attempt to provide primary indications that describe and define the nature of nomadic work in Oman by exploring the workers’ information practices in the nomadic environment. The study determines the information context of nomadic work, mainly focussing on how these dynamic contexts frame their information practices.



The authors would like to thank Professor David Bawden from University City of London, who has provided valuable feedback and guidance. The authors also would like to thank AlRudha Oman for helping and providing with a place to conduct the interviews. Furthermore, the authors are grateful to all participants for giving their time to complete data collection.


Al-Hadi, N.A. and Al-Aufi, A.S. (2019), "Information context and socio-technical practice of digital nomads", Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, Vol. 68 No. 4/5, pp. 431-450.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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