I always wondered how fickle business world is and how quickly working patterns are changing...
Only 20 years ago people didn't hear about Internet and our grandparents have to write long letters (that took ages to be delivered!!!) using fountain-pen in order to stay in touch with their friends and family members, whereas nowadays already every kid knows how to use msn or ICQ and can Skype that makes communication with people from remote parts of the planet possible at a mouseclick.
Fascinating, isn't it??? :P
But do actually technological progress brings more benefits then threats and does it really help businesses to encrease their productivity???
Well, hard question to asnwer :)
But one can not deny that internet has bought us a lot of opportunities and showed some unexplored ways of communication. For example such form of working as telecommuting that allows great flexibilty and wise resource utilization, since it not only gives a chance for the companies to employ otherwise not available employees, but also solves such problems as absenteeism, minimization of daily commuting cost and individual's carbon footprint.
But, does these new work forms are really improve productivity of the companies and can substitute old and approved one ???
Well, to some extent definitly 'YES', but only if they would fulfil requirements managers of today have. Such as: reduced costs, improved efficiency and employee communication.
Hence question to be answered is how to do it?
Firstly of course, e-working and telecommuting requires quite new management style, that is based on mutual trust between employee and employer and not on direct supervision as it was in the past. Therefore, results are more improtant then close scrutiny of individual workers.
New working patterns produce chain effect and entail demand for new communication tools that will facilitate such managment style. Usually, long distance telework include such tools as virtual private networks, videoconferencing, and Voice over IP. But with all advanteges they bring in terms of rapidity of exchange, scrupulos manager could not ask onself a question: ''How actually secure these means of communication? and How my data is protected from other internet users?''
Well, many companies offering collaboration softwares today already tried to answer these questions and started to offer their customers networking tools that make data transfer safe and easy.
Up today market leaders in this sphere were: Collanos with it Workplace software (http://www.collanos.com/), Microsoft offering Groove software (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/groove/FX100487641033.aspx) and PrimeSharing that offers TeamDrive (http://www.teamdrive.de/)