Thursday, February 21, 2008

Teleworking technology: we already have it

I've been thinking about months for what technology can help people to discover and get the most out of teleworking. I'm getting closer and closer to the following conclusion:

We've already built teleworking infrastructures, at least in my home country Japan, and many other nations and regions which have already deployed the Internet. Period. We need to focus on how to break the barriers and remove the impediments to people to embrace teleworking technologies as their own tools.

Let me simply put in this way: teleworking is no longer something special. For example, writing this blog itself is a very good example of teleworking technologies. All I need is a decent Web browser capable to run JavaScript for Blogger's writing environment; and I can publish and show you what I write, like what you read now.

Collaboration is getting more and more easier also. LUNARR allows you to flip back an electronic document and let you and other people write something on the back. This is a rather intuitive way to co-author a document, which I had never thought about until I saw it. Geeks will do the whole things in more geeky ways using SSH, rsync, CVS, subversion, or whatever else for software development, but it's not only for geeks anymore. Anyone who has to write a document can do it on a teleworking environment.

So let's stop saying "I'm not allowed to work from (wherever you want other than your office) because blah blah blah..." and talk how you can leverage your productivity from introducing teleworking into your lifestyle. If you and your employer think teleworking is something restricted for special people, that mindset is archaic, and no longer applicable to the 21st-century version of modern lifestyle. And let's not take commuting as a duty; it should be a choice and it has to be, to reduce the gross amount of time and energy wasted by being forced to commute.

But beware that teleworking is not necessarily a duty either; don't do it like this as in an xkcd article. Don't leave your partner alone just because "something is wrong on/with the Internet" (grin).