This article notes that telecommuting is increasing this year in companies of all sizes, with more than 90 percent of organizations now considering themselves “virtual.” The author manages a global team of engineers via broadband, messaging, conferencing and presence. Her entire company is virtual, meeting in presence every six months. She sees a leap coming when virtual working expands beyond knowledge workers to many jobs that historically always required a physical presence. The author notes that even now we are seeing telemedicine in which doctors diagnose and even conduct surgeries remotely. With the right robotics the same situation may emerge for police, nurses and even factory workers.
A major sore point for this author is the fact that IT departments are increasingly centralized and well behind the curve that now sees over 90 percent of employees working someplace other than at corporate headquarters. This makes it difficult to generate meaningful strategies for communications and collaboration technologies. She advises IT teams to start working virtually and “strategize about how technologies, such as mobility, video and robotics, can revolutionize their workplace.”