Today, everyone recognizes that we live in the so-called knowledge society. In this society, new possibilities based on and around IT and the Internet arise for human beings. IT technology has also made the organizations where they work change rapidly as well as the wider general business environment. The development of the Internet in the early 1990s was both the catalyst and an example of this phenomenon. This computer network allowed the development of social networks, or virtual communities of people who use these networks to communicate and to collaborate. We shall concentrate on the specific changes that have taken place in the workplace because of the introduction and increased usage of IT.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Hotelling: An office space management practice in which the office space is managed as a hotel, where the employees do not have fix spaces to work, and the space is used in a first requested first used basis
Telework: Work at a distance. Implies places different from the habitual one to make the labour activity (labour flexibility), a supervision and direction of the employees remote, an intensive labour activity in information and an intensive use of the IT
Mobile teleworking: Work wherever the employees are needed, for example in the clients’ office, on the move, or at home
E-Collaboration: Collaboration using electronic technologies among different individuals to accomplish a common task.
E-work: Collaborative, computer-supported activities and communication supported operations in highly distributed organizations of humans and/or robots or autonomous systems
E-Collaboration Technologies: Electronic technologies that enable collaboration among individuals engaged in a common task.
Telecentres: Offices with IT equipment, located near residential neighbourhoods, designed to reduce the number of commuting trips, and used by one or more employers
Computed mediated communication: A communication method in which the computer is used as the transfer mean, allowing the individual communication without time or geographical restrictions
Telecommuting: Taking the work to the worker, instead of the worker to the work, using telecommunications