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Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 2 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

  By Michele Peterson on February 21, 2012

A fellow "Soho'er" Kathy Keating just provided a great insight to one of my previous Sohojobs.com blog post. I hope she won't mind if I replicate it and discuss it here. Kathy's comment was:

“I think telecommuting is now officially a part of my life. I'm even telecommuting when I'm *in* the office because I have meetings with people all over the world and I honestly don't care if they're at home or in an office as long as they're getting their work done.

We discussed this at length, because Kathy's insight is into the very nature of telecommuting itself: telecommuting or telework means "a work arrangement in which employees enjoy flexibility in working location and hours.", not just "working at home". Home is not the centre of the universe, rather there is no center, just lots of locations, all some distance from each other. So your work organization could consist entirely of one-person home offices, or like Princess Cruise Lines, the offices could be cubes in one of many floors in one of several buildings on a campus, as part of a large multinational. Most companies are somewhere in between. But the crucial point is the shift in the basic, underlying assumption, from:

The business world is basically centralised, and anything that's elsewhere is a special case

to:

The world is basically distributed, with co-location of entities being a happy convenience.

Translating this into practical terms, organizations that wish to fully embrace teleworking should ensure that all their staff are as fully equipped as the homeworker with phone, computer, webcam and headset, so they don't end up with the situation where our teleworker can't use the power of the communications at her disposal because her co-workers back at the ranch don't have the same kit.

I hope this doesn't sound like a rant but the difference in thinking is huge.

What's your opinion?

 

 

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