“Teleworker,” “virtual worker,” “remote worker,” or “telecommuter,” The Landscape Is Progressing

Whether you prefer “teleworker,” “virtual worker,” “remote worker,” or “telecommuter,” each of these terms is likely understood to describe an employee (or contractor) who does not travel to a central office or work place. Instead, it is generally understood that a telecommuter may work from a personal or remote workspace outside of the office. A teleworker in the previous decade or two may have a work environment similar to this:

  • Works from his or her home office
  • Uses a company issued laptop, software, and mobile phone
  • Uses a Virtual Private Network (VPN) client to connect back to the company servers and files
  • Email is likely the primary mode of communication with other colleagues throughout the day
  • May utilize public instant messaging service like MSN Messenger, Skype, etc. for IM communications

While it’s clear that telecommuting is by no means a new concept, the technologies available today are greatly improving the experience and benefits for companies and individuals alike. Today’s teleworker is not limited to working from a home office. The advent of, and virtually pervasive access to technologies has empowered individuals to not only work outside the office but do so transparently, and often times with high efficiency. Here are a few key technologies that have played a part in empowering teleworkers in recent times:

Pervasive broadband Internet access – Not only do employees have the ability to work from home, but also a coffee shop, hotel room, airport terminal, or almost anywhere there is Internet access. This leads to increased flexibility and availability to get tasks done and communicate with colleagues and clients. Gone are the days when a trip to an out of town conference means an employee will be unavailable the whole time.

Increasingly capable computing platforms – Compared to their predecessors from decades ago, today’s computing platforms, smartphones and tablets included, offer powerful and user friendly tools that empower people to communicate and be productive. With a lot of companies now supporting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies for computers, smartphones, and other devices, this allows the individual to use devices they are comfortable with and may already own.

High speed mobile data networks – Although the computing power is present in mobile devices and tablets, improved high speed mobile data networks allow individuals to connect and collaborate even when a Wi-Fi connection is not available.

User focused designs – With increasing accessibility to technology, companies are designing applications with more consistent and familiar experiences that greatly improve adoption and productivity in both consumer and enterprise scenarios.

Cloud Services – Cloud based services such as Microsoft Office 365 reduce the required infrastructure footprint for businesses and provides teleworkers easy and familiar access to information and applications.

Unified Communications (UC) – In the past, employees may have been accustomed to communications silos. They may pick up a cell phone or desk phone to make a phone call, use a third party service to host a web conference, use a public instant messaging service to have a chat conversation, and possibly book a conference room with expensive and complex video conferencing equipment. Modern UC platforms like Microsoft Lync Server 2013 aim to consolidate the communications silos and give users a consistent experience across communication types (voice, video, IM, conferencing, etc.) and all their devices (desk phone, computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.). This enhances productivity as it gives employees access to information AND people.

Although studies have shown that telecommuting has been on the rise, it is not a silver bullet. Earlier this year, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer required that all remote workers would have to begin reporting to Yahoo offices. While telecommuting shows significant benefits for employees and employers, it is highly reliant on the company culture, job roles, legal environment, and other business factors. Despite this, it is clear that technology is empowering the modern teleworker to work more effectively than they were capable of in the past; regardless of where they work from.

 

Marc Wynter

Lead UC Architect

ConQuest Technology Services

mwynter@conquest247.com

 

May 1, 2014

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About ConQuest Technology Services
Director of Channels and Marketing At ConQuest Technology Services, we provide our customers with solutions and services allowing organizations to develop short-and long term IT strategies and deploy them at their own pace. Whether deploying collaboration tools for the first time, seeking to use existing investments, or supplementing existing solutions with specific collaboration products, ConQuest Technology Services is here to support enterprises invest wisely to dramatically improve collaboration and accelerate growth. KEY FACTS ABOUT CONQUEST Headquarters: 4675 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Suite 302 Coral Gables, FL 33146 305-374-8788 www.conquest247.com • Microsoft Gold Partner for 10+ years • Awarded CRN’s Next-Gen 250 - recognized as a solution provider with a new approach to client support (2013) • Microsoft Partner of the Year – Voice Deployment Built On Microsoft® Lync (2012) • Microsoft Partner of the Year – Best Communication Solutions (2011) • Microsoft’s go-to partner for UC and Cloud technologies in South-east USA Conquest Technology Services : • Offers Business Consulting to help develop cost-effective deployment plans, defining ROI benefits, and cost of ownership for On-Prem, Cloud and Hybrid technology solutions • Builds IT Infrastructure in the cloud to deliver secure infrastructure, storage & backup, protected BYOD mobility solutions and communications-linked business applications providing data/voice/video. • Provides managed services to provide secure, scalable IT environments to support our clients business needs. For more information please visit www.conquest247.com or call 305-374-8788.

One Response to “Teleworker,” “virtual worker,” “remote worker,” or “telecommuter,” The Landscape Is Progressing

  1. Pete says:

    Great article! I think that we’re only going to see more telecommuting jobs in the future. Mayers made a big mistake with yahoo.

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