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Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Information and Service Economy | MSc program in Information and Service Management | 2016
Thesis number: 14750
Office Space Need in Virtual Accounting: Three Case Studies
Author: Koso-Hirvonen, Melinda
Title: Office Space Need in Virtual Accounting: Three Case Studies
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Information and Service Economy
Academic subject: MSc program in Information and Service Management
Index terms: palvelut; johtaminen; toimitilat; tiimityö; etätyö; organisaatio; prosessit; toimistot
Pages: 53
Key terms: virtual teams; organizational boundaries; discontinuity; virtual processes; virtual office; temporal structures; team awareness; physical office
Abstract:
Nowadays ICT enables employees of different companies to work from multiple different location in addition to the typical office space: remotely from home, summer home or from the other side of the world. This might indicate that the classical idea of a physical office is turning to be obsolete or the notion of office is changing. Certain companies embrace the possibility and encourage their employees to work remotely. Some will not even acquire a physical office anymore but trust that their employees will do their work effectively from home or other locations.

The aim of this study is to identify the reasons why other companies embrace the opportunity to work without a physical office and others not. In addition, the aim is to identify the factors in organizational environment that hinder and/or? on the other hand support functioning without a physical office.

This research was done by interviewing three different Finnish accounting companies. Finnish accounting firms all using same accounting software. Two of the companies have a physical office and one does not. By considering boundaries that lead to discontinuities in the target group's everyday work life I aim to identify causalities that can explain the phenomenon. Moreover, I consider how temporal organizational structures affect the notion of time in virtual team's work and make the environment more dynamic. This along with the lack of team awareness in the systems cause considerable boundaries and therefore increases the possibility of discontinuities inside the virtual team.

I argue that the more temporal the team is the more the possibility of boundaries increase and hence the possibilities of discontinuities grow. If the companies will not carefully choose the collaboration tools team awareness will also cause discontinuities. However, the ICT choices should follow the business - not the other way around. These systems should be able to tackle the problems that arise when the physical space is taken away and the team functions in a virtual environment. Given the above mentioned, virtual teams can function without a physical office if the ICT choices are well aligned with the business needs.

This research does not consider the social factors that physical office space includes.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.