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Abstract

The proliferation of portable information technologies (e.g. laptops and mobile phones) along with the increasing availability of wireless networks allows individuals to expand and extend their information environment. One context which has been impacted by these changes is the workplace; individuals now multitask in face-to-face meetings with other technologies. This multitasking can have a dual impact: the information needs of the face-to-face group may be better met by increased access to networked information, but the individuals in the group using the technology may decide to use it for non-group tasks, which may be disruptive and/or diminish the individual's focus away from the team. In this pilot research, the concepts of information handling and polychronicity (a preference for multitasking) are used to explore qualitative data from interviews with 15 office workers.