With the new Internet era, people can distribue high quantities of information by the network. It has developed a new economical and business organization and we are entering into a new model of education and work thanks to the ICT.
Telework consists off doing your work in a different place to the office using informatic and telecommunications networks. With this new model is possible to reduce travel time of the employees, increase the effectivity of hours dedicated to work and provide to the workpeople time to spend with family. But not all is good: with teleworking we are loosing groups of teamworks, loosing the corporation hierarchies (the teleworker many times only have to communicate with one boss), causing sedentay lifestyle to the employees, loosing the relationship with other employees, and a long etcetera.
Estimates suggest that over fifty million U.S. workers could work from home at least part of time. The call center industry and IT sector employ thousands of home-based workers but these are notables exceptions because very few companies employ large number of home-based full-time staff. However, the development of new video conferencing systems and technologies increase the number of teleworker day by day. Many public and private companies are now starting to use polycom systems and teleworking in order to avoid costs and becase they started to appreciate multiple benefits of teleworking.
Long distance telework is facilitated by tools such as groupware, virtual private networks, conference calling, videoconferencing and voice over ip. Telework technology requirements will vary by agency but many teleworkers requires:
- Internet Service Provider (ISPs) to connect remote employees to the Internet, e-mail, and agency network.
- Internet Access to allow teleworkers to use Internet for their voice, video, fax, and unified communications needs. Some examples are:
- dial up telephone networks or PSTN for voice and data communications in narrow-band.
- Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) standards.
- DSL standards to provide broad-band Internet connection.
- Cable broadband access.
- Network infrastructure comprised of the equipment and connections that make up a network:
- VPNs as a remote access solution to access the network securely (firewalls, encryption…).
- Remote Access Servers (RASs) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to provide the computer and associated software for teleworkers to access the network remotely.
- Laptop as a main teleworker’s tool.
- Mobile Phone / Smartphone / PDA for data applications and instant communication anytime, anywhere.
- Peripherals such as printers, scanners, fax or multi-functional devices.
- Security policies for automatic backups and restore, biometric devices, data encryption, configuration management, software updates, virus and spyware protection software…
- Collaboration tools to facilitate information-sharing for individuals in remote locations through an interactive forum. Examples include data conferencing, e-mail, phone and fax, instant messaging, presence technology, software collaboration, telepresence and web collaboration.
- Software as a service (SaaS) providers to manage data storage, for example.
- Video conferencing systems to allow remote users to connect using real time, interactive voice, video and data collaboration technologies. Some examples of video conferencing systems are: Polycom, Avaya Solutions or Verizon Communications Systems.
Currently, telework yields multiple benefits to government, public sector organizations, private sector, individual employee and the community. It is becoming increasingly prevalent in the modern workforce because its proven results and reliability are shown to significantly improve life holistically.
Both public and private sector organizations are reaping the benefits: boosting morale, enhancing continuity of operations (COOP) plans, saving real estate space and dollars, as well as enabling efforts to recruit and retain the best and brightest.