An affordance perspective of team collaboration and enforced working from home during COVID-19

Lena Waizenegger, Brad McKenna, Wenjie Cai, Taino Bendz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

378 Citations (Scopus)
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COVID-19 has caused unprecedented challenges to our lives. Many governments have forced people to stay at home, leading to a radical shift from on-site to virtual collaboration for many knowledge workers. Existing remote working literature does not provide a thorough explanation of government-enforced working from home situations. Using an affordance lens, this study explores the sudden and enforced issues that COVID-19 has presented, and the technological means knowledge workers use to achieve their team collaboration goals. We interviewed 29 knowledge workers about their experiences of being required to work from home and introduced the term “enforced work from home”. This paper contributes to the affordance theory by providing an understanding of the substitution of affordances for team collaboration during COVID-19. The shifting of affordances results in positive and negative effects on team collaboration as various affordances of technology were perceived and actualised to sustain “business as usual”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-442
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Information Systems
Issue number4
Early online date12 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Affordance
  • COVID-19
  • Kieran Conboy and Michael Myers
  • Pär ÅgerfalkAffordance
  • knowledge workers
  • qualitative
  • team collaboration
  • working from home

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