Meeting in the global workplace: air travel, telepresence and the body

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: In the highly connected and globalised corporate workplace, face-to-face communication is persisting and expanding, despite significant advances and investments in telecommunication. Drawing on interviews with 34 employees from an Australian company trying to reduce air travel associated with business meetings, this paper reveals how telepresence facilitates distinctly different practices of meeting and collaborating to those enabled by face-to-face encounters. The analysis draws attention to the essential role of the body in the practices of virtual and in-person business meetings. During in-person meetings the body’s physical presence conveys meanings of respect and value, provides sensorial competency and gestures, and enables physical mobility as it carries people between and within different material environments. The paper concludes by identifying some possibilities for telepresence meetings to replicate and replace in-person meetings as a normal and effective way of collaborating in the global workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-608
Number of pages17
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Air travel
  • Body
  • Business meetings
  • Co-presence
  • Face-to-face communication
  • Telecommunication
  • Telepresence

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