Impact on Working Practices

Learning Objectives

  • to understand the impact IT has on working practices.

Learning Outcomes

Must – to understand that working practices have changed due to IT.

Should – to understand the difference between collaborative working and teleworking.

Could – to know the advantages and disadvantages of IT working practices for individuals and organisations.

Impact on Working Practices

  1. Many workers now telecommute and work from home.  This means that you no longer have to live close to where you work.  This also means that companies in more expensive to live places such as London can employ workers who live in cheaper areas.
  2. The growth of Cloud Computing allows documents and files to be accessed using an Internet connection.  This means companies can upload files for employees to work on at home.
  3. Online Workspaces allow colleagues to work closely together.  This means decisions can be made more efficiently.
  4. With the growth and popularity of Social Networks, Employers can research and check on potential employees through browsing Social Networking sites.  Inappropriate content found on public Social Network pages often puts of potential employees and this makes them less likely to shortlist for a job.
  5. Over use of email means face-to-face conversations become rare.  This means that difficult conversations get communicated via email and not done in person.
  6. With teleworking, employees feel pressured by employers to work from home in their own time.
  7. Some workers who are not connected to the Internet feel left out when it comes to making decisions.
  8. Some organisations have disciplined employees for making defamatory posts on social media.  These actions are seen as bringing the companies’ name into disrepute so the company tries to protect its image.

Internet Working happens in 2 ways:

1) Collaborative Working is about working together as a group to achieve common goals.  This can be helped by VoIP, email, online chat, social networking and online work spaces.

Users can work together on the same documents online and share ideas.  When employees work together they get more done and finish in a quicker time.  Users can bring ideas which help solve problems quickly.

However, collaborative working involves working away from each other so people cannot read body language.  Users can overwrite others work if not careful.

2) Teleworking is about working at home but staying in touch with others with the help of technology.

Teleworking saves workers money as they do not need to pay to travel to work.  It’s flexible so they can decide when they work.  They also save on childcare as they can work from home and look after children at the same time.  Teleworking also saves time on travelling as employees can get to work whenever they are ready.  Teleworking is also good for the environment as it cuts out pollution from vehicle use travelling to work.

However, Teleworking means less social contact so employees can feel isolated.  Employees can end up working more hours as they do not time to have a break.  Employees can also get distracted at home so the basic tasks do not get completed.  Teleworking only works when an Internet connection is present.

Task 

Think of at least 3 jobs that you know where Teleworking is possible for an employee.

Think of at least 3 jobs that you know where Collaborative Working is possible for an employee.

Think of at least 3 jobs where it is not possible to do Teleworking or Collaborative Working.