About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Working from Home: the office of the future?

I have noticed a difference between blogs from those who work out of a home office (see especially Karyn Romeis, Janet Clarey, and Michele Martin's blogs). While I teach at a university, most of my time is spent at home. I have very little interaction with those outside of class except electronically.

I bring this up because in his post yesterday, Clark Quinn discussed the predictions for elearning for next year. As he discussed the different types of technology and how it would be used, I kept thinking that the cost cutting and current economy will mean more people will be working from home, either as freelancers, or as companies cut overhead.

I have not seen this being discussed on the work literacy sites. I wonder what the impact this will have on social networking and/or blogs. This time of year, especially, in the northern hemisphere, there is a real feeling of isolation. In a brick and mortar workplace, there are opportunities to interact with colleagues during the "midwinter blues". But what happens when there are no colleagues within "water cooler" distance?

I feel that blogging allows workers to reach out, bounce ideas off of colleagues (that might be at a distance), create a professional relationship, get feedback and support, and feel as if they are part of a profession and organization. As a result, I wonder if the nature of blogs will differ. I know last year Michele Martin asked if women blogged differently than men. I wonder if those who work from home blog differently than those who are physically part of an organization? If there is a difference, will this mean that blogging will become more important (especially in this economic environment)?

3 comments:

Ashley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Seeing instead of looking said...

How will blogging be different in the coming year?

I wonder if this vulnerable climate will provide us with more freedom to ask clarifying questions about that which would have been considered a 'technical innovation' in the past but really is just a distraction.

Maybe blogging will help us to reflect upon and refine those values that underly our expectations that define 'security'-economically and socially.

Someone once told me, "there is strength in the strain." So while I hold my breath for yet another season of strain I eagerly anticipate the witness of greatness within this struggle and the opportunity to use technology to share our insights and triumphs with one another.

V Yonkers said...

I agree. I feel that we are coming into a time where we can question (something that we seemed to forget to do when the economy was booming).

While privately, one might ask questions or indicate misgivings, it almost felt as if by doing this during a boom time, we might undermined this "false sense" of security. Now that the cat's out of the bag (things can happen even if we don't discuss it), we may feel freer to question things, rather than just take it at face value. I have always felt that it is healthy to have differences of opinions and to question things.

Blogging and other internet forms of discussion, however, seem different as there may be a sense of anonymity which allows those on the internet to go past prescribed rules of conduct. On the other hand, as we get more used to using these tools (and new rules are written), those who might have felt isolated in the past (and voiceless) might find their voices.

I find it exciting with the promise of new possibilities and connection even in times of economic upheaval. I did not feel this in 1982 when I transitioned into the workforce during a severe economic slump or in 1985-86 when a severe accident left me unemployed, in and out of the hospital, with a dying father and very little social and professional support (although I did have my family, thank goodness). I wonder what it would have been like if I had had blogging available back then?