how modern telecommunication change the definition of work
In 1876 Alexander G. Bell created the thing that changed our world.
And it wasn't the last change in the modern history. Later in the XX
century the modulator-demodulator also known as modem was created and
really started the Telecommunications Age. First computers were
connected together and the Net started growing.
In the last 20 years the lifestyle changed very much. Cellular phones
and electronic mail changed the way we communicate, satellite TV and WWW
sites changed the way we get the news and on-line shops and junk e-mail
changed the way we buy products and do our business. Work, social life,
politics – the telecomms are coming everywhere, bringing freedom,
equality and productivity. Now I will try to go deeper into these
Since the end of XIX century, when Marx wrote his famous book,
"Capital", the economic meaning of work has changed dramatically. For
Marx labour was nothing more but another resource like capital or land.
In XX century manager shows a bit more respect to employees. They are
now individuals, who need to develop themselves and should be treated
and motivated in right way.
XX century brought us a new idea: workers are paid for their time.
Later, in mid-sixties, it was thought that companies pay their employees
for their skills and personal qualities. Among those qualities were
creativity, company loyalty. For those companies that eventually
switched to new system, it became very difficult to properly measure
worker's contribution to company's results. These companies try to
increase workers morale, motivate them, because it is evident: if
workers don't want to work, they won't work. Or at least, the results
will be extremely poor. That's why in addition to motivation by money,
managers try to create a feeling of mutual trust, belonging to company
and common interests.
What new brings telework to this field? First it is ease of control and
measurement. Results in electronic form can be easily archived, analysed
by computers, forwarded for checking and copied. Next, all information
about time and efforts spent is available. Another thing is that fixed
time-based salaries are gone. The company will no longer care so about
who and how much spent on a task. This will become a question of
personal choice. Now everyone will be given a freedom to decide whether
to work or to have a rest. This can differentiate workaholics from
ordinary lazy people. Right now there are same rules for everybody.
Rarely a company wants to have a lot of part-time workers. We cannot
imagine a worker coming to factory when he is in the right mood. But
with distant jobs you can have workers switching every now and then. We
can even dream about perfect labour marketplace with contracts signed
electronically for several hours. The psychological problems of
switching jobs will be minimised. The retirement will no longer mean
break of social relations, because they aren't based on physical
0