In the last two decades the way people manage work has drastically changed. The proliferation of new technologies means that it is now a viable choice to operate from home, on the move or at anywhere in almost every industry. And how did this whole shift arise in the way we work?
Internet’s steadfast march
Ask an organization about its online presence 20 years ago, and most of the time a blank stare was met. You must now be online and in a major way to do business. Instant texts, Wi-Fi and plenty of technology now enables you to access the world’s broad web from anywhere, by pressing a button connecting you with vendors, rivals and employees.
The movement really began with the famous ‘brick’ or cell phone for the first time. Mobile telephones became smaller, richer and more affordable for all, as technology improved. With the new generation of ‘smartphones,’ focus was changed from a smartphone to social interaction to being a tool for industry. You can now track your emails, send messages, download Internet pages and even build tablets on the go. You can even use a cell phone to make calls. Travel time is not only spent on the train using the crossword; this is an important part of your working day.
The conviction that more people in Great Britain will operate from home in the 21st century began to be real. Computers are now no longer cumbersome monoliths that take up an entire room. Lightweight laptops, netbooks and PDAs give you all the capacity for a tower computer, but they have the huge benefit that they are mobile. You can now fit into a flight bag and fly around the world with all of your office papers, producing the best in mobile offices.
The influence of technology
Without the infrastructure to connect them, all this contemporary hardware – your laptop, your smartphone and your Bluetooth headset. And the real force behind mobile work is this infrastructure. Internet links no longer rely on a telephone line and an external modem. With the introduction of a digital network, you can connect to the Internet anywhere you have a Wi-Fi network, if you have access code. Wi-Fi is compatible with a wide range of mobile devices. Contrary to Bluetooth, however, its use is not limited to the communication of consumer goods, such as cell phones. It can be used for connecting entire offices, providing Internet connectivity almost anywhere, including outside (often referred to as “hotspots.”). Wi-Fi is capable of transmitting data up to 54Mbps above the level of many of the office’s cable networks.
At home, you have a couple of additional options that can work as a ‘virtual office’ network system. An extranet provides people with an Internet browser to access business information. It functions as a private network to share specific areas of information or activities, regardless of where you are, with people such as consumers, suppliers or employees.
Alternatively, a virtual private network (VPN) is a safe way to allow other offices or individuals remote access to your network. A VPN uses internet and encryption technologies, contrary to systems of linking offices via telephone lines. It is therefore extremely safe, readily available and comparatively inexpensive.
In a technological era, the Internet has provided a whole new way of doing business, by moving jobs, as international boundaries become meaningless. This technological transition will continue for the next 50 years and create a very different business world for those before, and as technology develops it is bound to change the way people operate even more.