How Remote Workers Are Changing the Workplace
The way in which companies conduct business has changed dramatically thanks to innovations in technology. Smartphones, tablets and laptops have made working in the field or working from home more commonplace than only dreamed of only a few decades ago. Calculations, collaborations and sharing creative expressions are all done and done well through the use of computers and smartphones which are relatively inexpensive. Working remotely cuts down on drive time and all of the logistics involved with making it to work on time every day. Remote workers can work as comfortably as possible, in whichever setting suits them at the time. With Internet access commonplace around the world, workers can get to work from almost anywhere without worrying about long distance fees or getting to a time clock. Many restaurants and hotels offer Wi-Fi connections for free, making it convenient to be accessible from anywhere.
Just as technology has changed the way businesses get work done, the demands of businesses have influenced the direction that technology has taken.
Always connected, anywhere
Cell phones and wireless Internet connections provide further flexibility for the remote worker. Cell towers beam data back and forth between smartphones which act as pretty powerful computing devices that can also document events through the use of a digital camera and GPS locator. Long distance calling has become a thing of the past, and through the use of email or messenger apps, communication can be very inexpensive from across the globe. Businesses that communicate globally have always been on board with finding ways to reduce costs related to communication. The Internet is the perfect solution for this, as data is relayed across computer networks at very little cost compared to seemingly ancient mailing and landlines telephone services.
Businesses that have lots of workers using many computers need to have a way for everyone to be able to use the same tools and access the same information as each other all of the time. Different operating systems and platforms will use different types of applications and behave differently across the board, but one language all computers speak is Internet. Computers have always been good at hosting databases for employers, but the programs that are used to manipulate that data have often used different applications for different computer stations. Computing power and data transfer speeds have become so advanced that complex calculations and formulaic filings can be done on the fly and sent back and forth between computers at the speed of light. To avoid compatibility issues and keep from writing a program several different ways for the various operating systems, businesses can have a coder create a website that acts just like a computer program for workers to access and use from any computer anywhere. Updates are coded directly to the same web app and workers all over the world automatically use the latest version without installing any software on their own computer, smartphone or tablet.
When a company has many workers from across the globe accessing and maintaining the same database, there needs to be a way to know who is accessing what and which types of information are vulnerable to getting into the wrong hands. Cloud services that allow companies to do exactly that while leaving security in the hands of large companies such as Amazon. Cloud computing is a culmination of years of experience that large companies have gained from managing their own Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs. VPNs allow workers to access their files and applications on a computer or server that is hosted by the company they work for. Security experts work full time to make sure that these servers have password systems, encryption and constant maintenance to ensure that there is the least amount of risk of the data being corrupted or compromised and providing solutions for any bugs that are found or updates needed. The art of VPN security translated to a whole enterprise focused on issuing the same security measures for many VPNs which is now known as cloud computing.
Early innovators in personal computing technology such as Bill Gates or Steve Jobs saw great potential for computers to change the way businesses do work. Their dedication has proved to be more than a fad or some hobby that only certain people play with, and the world is now using less paper to get things done as a result. The need for businesses to find more efficient ways of doing things has been a driving force moving technology forward much like the technology itself has been a driving force for getting things done more efficiently.