Thursday, November 22, 2007

The future workforce may rarely be physically in a traditional office

"Telecommuting, e-commuting, e-work, telework, working at home (WAH), or working from home (WFH) is a work arrangement in which employees enjoy limited flexibility in working location and hours. In other words, the daily commute to a central place of work is replaced by telecommunication links. Many work from home, while others, occasionally also referred to as nomad workers utilize mobile telecommunications technology to work from coffee shops or myriad other locations." (Wikipedia)

Are we moving towards empty offices around the world? Will coffee shops become the new board room? Will gossip around the water cooler now happen in a virtual world instead of the lunch room?

Last year I blogged about preparing our students for working from that "third place." Students today are more comfortable working in an informal environment such as a coffee shop. My question is are we preparing students to manage time and foster engaging work relations from a third place?

Telecommuting seemed to become popular again after 9/11. I was reading an article this morning which was got me on this path called Telecommuting found to boost morale, cut stress wrote that "last year an estimated 45 million Americans telecommuted, an increase of 4 million from 2003, according to the magazine WorldatWork." The article goes on to further discuss how telecommuting can have a positive impact on ones carbon footprint.

Food for Thought.....
So where does this leave the 21st century learner? What skills will be required to successfully manage and work within a telecommute environment?

Managing and accessing data and knowledge is going to be a huge issue if telecommuting continues on this popular pathway. To be able to access your data from anywhere and be sure that this is being done securely will be very important.

Those businesses that foster telecommuting, how will the foster their working community? How will they build their corporate story when many of their employees will not be physically around to contribute?

No comments: