In this chapter we will present semi virtual workplace (SVWP) concepts in the German financial sector (FS) industry. We give a short introduction into the problem and an overview of the German FS market and its recent developments under European Community (EC) legislation. In the next sections we present three German FS companies that apply successfully semi virtual workplace concepts, followed by detailed descriptions of two semi virtual concepts: strict alternating use of a workplace by two employees (every other day an employee is in his home office) and the concept of the business club, where the employees choose daily their workplace out of a workplace pool when they work on-site. In the last section we compare the concepts and draw conclusion. Further we outline our future research.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Virtual Enterprise: A virtual enterprise (VE) is a temporary alliance of enterprises that come together to share skills or core competencies and resources in order to better respond to business opportunities, and whose cooperation is supported by computer networks. It is a manifestation of collaborative networks and a particular case of virtual organization (Wikipedia, 2007).
Financial Sector Enterprise: A financial sector enterprise is an enterprise serving the financial sector, that is, banking companies, insurance companies, building societies, and so forth. The commonality of all these enterprises is that they provide a service based on their customers financial assets.
Virtual Organization: A virtual organization comprises a set of (legally) independent organizations that share resources and skills to achieve its mission/goal, but that is not limited to an alliance of for profit enterprises. The interaction among members of the virtual organization is mainly done through computer networks (Wikipedia, 2007).
Virtual Workplace: A virtual workplace is a workplace that is not located in any one physical space; rather, several workplaces are technologically connected (via the Internet) without regard to geographic boundaries. Employees are thus able to interact and work with one another in a collaborated environment regardless of where they are in the world. A virtual workplace decreases unnecessary costs by integrating technology processes, people processes, and online processes (Wikipedia, 2007).
Workplace Satisfaction: Workplace or job satisfaction describes how content an individual is with his or her job. There are a variety of factors that can influence a person’s level of job satisfaction; some of these factors include the level of pay and benefits, the perceived fairness of the promotion system within a company, the quality of the working conditions, leadership and social relationships, and the job itself (the variety of tasks involved, the interest and challenge the job generates, and the clarity of the job description/requirements) (Wikipedia, 2007)..
Business Process: A business process is a set of linked activities that create value by transforming an input into a more valuable output. Both input and output can be artifacts and/or information and the transformation can be performed by human actors, machines, or both (Wikipedia, 2007).
SVWP: Semi virtual workplaces (SVWP) are workplaces which do not fulfill the criteria of a virtual workplace in full. Workplaces where the workers fulfill duties partly on site and partly in a home office workplace are called SVWPs