Three Generations of Telework: New ICTs and the (R)evolution from Home Office to Virtual Office

14 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2016

See all articles by Jon C. Messenger

Jon C. Messenger

International Labour Office

Lutz Gschwind

Uppsala University - Department of Government

Date Written: November 2016

Abstract

'New ICTs', such as smartphones and tablet computers, have revolutionised work and life in the 21st Century. Crucial to this development is the detachment of work from traditional office spaces. Today's office work is often supported by Internet connections, and thus can be done from anywhere at any time. Research on detachment of work from the employer's premises actually dates back to the previous century. In the 1970s and 1980s, Jack Nilles and Allan Toffler predicted that work of the future would be relocated into or nearby employees' homes with the help of technology, called 'Telework'. Analysing technological advancements — the enabling forces of change in this context — over four decades sheds new light on this term: they have fostered the evolution of Telework in distinct stages or 'generations'. Today's various location‐independent, technology‐enabled new ways of working are all part of the same revolution in the inter‐relationship between paid work and personal life.

Keywords: Telework, telecommuting, work from home, mobile work, New ICTs, new ways of working.

Suggested Citation

Messenger, Jon C. and Gschwind, Lutz, Three Generations of Telework: New ICTs and the (R)evolution from Home Office to Virtual Office (November 2016). New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 31, Issue 3, pp. 195-208, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2870819 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12073

Jon C. Messenger (Contact Author)

International Labour Office

Route des Morillons 4
Geneva, 1211
Switzerland

Lutz Gschwind

Uppsala University - Department of Government ( email )

Scheelevägen 15 D
SE-223 70
Lund
Sweden

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