Telecommute is fast becoming a buzzword nowadays. The routine 8-5 office jobs are fast becoming a thing of the past as the work environment, job descriptions, and methods of doing work are evolving. People who work these days are no longer confined to physical offices because technological innovations have enabled the phenomenon that we now call telecommuting — which means, in the simplest terms, working remotely.
Of course, there are certain things we have now that make telecommuting possible, and if it weren’t for these innovations, we would all still be stuck in the caveman days of work. Here are some of the technological innovations of recent history that makes collaboration possible.
– The Internet: Of course the Internet. This particular invention was recently named the top innovation in the last 30 years, and for good reason. The Internet has made possible so many things that we now find ourselves in a position of being almost debilitated when we find ourselves disconnected. Being connected via the Internet has given us access to a vast storehouse of knowledge, and it has enabled us to share our own knowledge, too. It has certainly made a giant leap forward for the proponents of globalization, because through it, the world certainly became a much smaller place now that everyone, everywhere is connected.
– Laptops, tablets, and mobile devices: More and more people are choosing to take their work with them, and not just be stuck with a heavy desktop computer. While there are those who still prefer working on a good old trusty desktop, mobility is now becoming an important issue for many as they want to be free to pursue their own activities in their own time without having to compromise their work in the process. And because laptops are now getting lighter, carrying your work with you wherever you go is not as hard as it used to be. Along with the release of the tablet and other similar mobile devices, more and more working people are choosing to go mobile as it gives them more flexibility.
– Email: Where would we all be without email? Just by clicking the Send button, you get your message delivered right away to anyone anywhere (well, as long as they have Internet access, that is). Before email came into the picture, we had to rely on snail mail (those born and raised in the digital age are probably scratching their heads now and asking, “What?”), express mail, LBC/ FedEx/ and other similar courier services to have our messages delivered. Then we had to wait for days (sometimes weeks) for the much-awaited response. Can you really imagine doing business like that now?
– Webinars/ Video Conferencing: Attending seminars, workshops, and other similar activities in the past used to cost a fortune, so companies would most likely select a few delegates only and then spend for transportation, seminar fees, etc. Now, however, thanks to webinars, anyone interested can join, at much less cost. Employers no longer have to send their workers out because they can attend webinars right at work, or even in their own homes, and the cost is much less than going to actual location seminars. The learning and take-home experience is still pretty much the same, but it is not as much of hassle as it used to be.
The same concept applies with video conferencing. It used to be difficult to gather team members or stakeholders (especially in multi-nationals where some members are in other countries) located in various provinces/countries, and it was even harder to coordinate communication. But now, thanks to video conferencing, virtual meetings can be set up without having to worry about the logistics of having to get everyone to the office.
– Cloud Computing Technology: File cabinets? Boxes and boxes of documents? Directories full of business contacts? Sounds like any other typical office. The trouble with files like this, however, is that they run the risk of getting ruined — whether by natural disasters, accidents, or some other mishap, physical documents are at risk of getting lost, stolen, or destroyed. Now imagine if you can put all that pertinent data in one place where you know it can’t be harmed in any way. That is what cloud computing does for you — it allows you to store everything you need all up there in the cloud, and as long as you have access to the Internet, then you can access your files, too. Any changes made to files found in the cloud will be automatically synced, saving you the trouble of having to go through so many files and doing a manual update. So if anyone from the team makes some edits on that presentation, you don’t have to worry anymore about updating your copy, because it’s already there.
These are just some of the innovations that have revolutionized the way we view work. These technologies have certainly brought people together and made collaboration not just possible, but now a normal way of life. Because of these technological innovations, working together has become so much easier, and work has certainly taken on a brand new perspective.