New technology, new questions
There is no doubt that virtual work is on the rise. Offices, working hours and even personal presence are actually superfluous. That raises questions.
The technology is not a problem, even surgeons can operate today from the other end of the world. How to remove 2001 Professor Jacques Marescaux from the IRCAD Strasbourg the gall bladder of a French patient - by computer and surgical robot, while he was sitting in New York. Even today, IRCAD is considered a pioneer of teleoperation.
It's all about trust
But not everything is really new - and yet controversial. Management consultant Roswitha A. van der Markt explains: “Managers believe that everything is done with the introduction of the technology and a short training session. But trust is decisive for the success of virtual teams - and that can only be achieved through appreciation and personal exchange. ”
This is exactly where the hare is in the bottle: According to a study by RW3 CultureWizards, 87% of management and 50% of employees already work at least partially virtually in multinational corporations. Nevertheless, studies such as the Monster Recruiting Trends show that, especially in Germany, trust in colleagues in the home office is still lacking - not only from management, but also from teammates.
Work services that you do not see?
So how can one perceive work performance that one does not see? van der Markt recommends clear target agreements and collaboration tools such as chats, wikis or digital boards, in which team members can quickly exchange information on the status of their work. “Skype and video conferencing also convey facial expressions, gestures and mood. And you should meet personally at least once or twice a year, ”said the consultant.
But virtual working also creates legal discussions: Employees who use private devices for work or business devices privately endanger data security. And the first employers' associations are already calling for the deregulation of working time laws. It will be interesting to see where the journey is going. Because “bring your own device” is considered an inexpensive alternative to an existing PC pool - and leads to anxiety among IT managers.
Status Quo in German Companies
According to a survey conducted by the Bitkom branch, 43 percent of the German ICT companies allow their employees to connect their own smartphones or laptops to their company network. Studies of the IT company Cisco in the US show that employees are even more productive and satisfied when they choose their own devices.
It also sounds cheap and attractive for companies, but “Bring your own device” (BYOD, German: “Bring your own device with you”), according to the technical jargon, drives the sweat of fear on many IT managers: How can you prevent that employees log into the company network with virus-infected devices? And what happens when private devices are stolen?
Secure cloud instead of too much rules
According to the Bitkom survey, 60 percent of German companies react with special regulations to the imminent danger. In Estonia, one goes a different way: with the IT company Skype belonging to Microsoft can the employees without restrictions with their private devices log into the company network.
These are still being made by the company, but General Manager Andrus Järg thinks one step further: the company's data should no longer be stored on local computers, but in the cloud. And this must be so secure that no one can access it unauthorized, says Järg.
As with Skype in Estonia
Its attitude fits into a country where government services are completed through to the conclusion of contracts and parliamentary elections online. This certainly has advantages for efficiency and productivity: a company can be founded in 18 minutes, according to Wallstreet Journal, Estonia has the most start-ups per inhabitant in Europe. The Skype software has also been developed over ten years ago.
General Manager Järg therefore has a simple answer for people who ask about the risks: “It is natural that people are afraid of new developments. It was the same with the computer - and that is normal today. It will be the same with cloud computing. ” It sounds good. One can only hope that he is right.
How much influence do employers have on private life?
I remember how a few years ago large IT companies like Facebook and Apple made headlines with egg freezing for their female workers. Regardless of your opinion:
For me, the heated discussion also showed how difficult we are with the changes that digitization brings with it in our working world. Because you can rate them positively - or negatively.
How data glasses are changing work
For example, according to experts, data glasses could soon fundamentally revolutionize our working world. The data glasses enable even unskilled workers to perform complex tasks.
The instructions have them right on the nose and both hands free. Elaborate training or training: no need. Investigations promise productivity increases of up to 30 percent.
Cyborgs or work easier
Experts are therefore sounding the alarm: people quickly talk about cyborgs and that human skills are becoming increasingly superfluous.
New inventions have always been difficult, and cultural pessimism has a boom in Germany, particularly in the field of digitization. This also applies to the 3-D pressure, which, it is feared, would soon destroy entire industrial branches. In doing so, new techniques can also be seen positively, as advancement and support for the work so far.
How 3 D-printing changes the craft
For example, in the goldsmiths Lee Harding and Seamus O Donaghue in Dublin, 3-D printing is the most important innovation in recent years.
The two design jewelry on the computer and then directly produce molds or blanks themselves. “We used to have to order this in a complex process, 3D printing has made this process much easier and cheaper,” says O Donaghue.
The need for quality is growing
They are not afraid that their work may become superfluous: "The need for quality will grow further sooner," said the Irish, who mainly rely on tailor-made products, high-quality materials and individual advice.
How to evaluate new developments and whether to use them for themselves is also a matter of personal perception.
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