Networked workers bring many opportunities and challenges to an organization. Below are some opportunities and challenges I thought of. Opportunities of freely available internet access:
- Access to information-by having access to more information, could help problem-solve/create opportunities for organizational growth. As Weinberger (2011) highlighted in earlier chapters, Google is at the fingertips of employees to where knowledge is sought outside of the organization.
- Increased collaboration-having more individuals that can work together on projects can lead to new ideas and efficiencies.
- Being able to work wherever-having access to freely available internet allows for access wherever, whenever.
At my job, we work within a cloud-based system which allows us to access all our work files/projects wherever we are. I live a good drive away from our office and if the weather is ever bad, I can work right from home uninterrupted.
Challenges of freely available internet access:
- Leaders have difficulty leading others with influx of information coming into the organization. With so much information coming in, leaders have to redefine their role and how they will lead others.
- Workers can work wherever and not have to be present in the office. An example of this was in Yahoo’s article on banning telecommuting.
Marissa Mayer, who works as the CEO of Yahoo, ended telecommuting and was met with opposition from employees. Research suggested that there are both pros and cons of telecommuting. If productivity is what is being sought, then ending telecommuting could lead to additional productivity.
I recently read an article about Michelle Peluso, the Chief Marketing Officer, at IBM recently made an announcement ending telecommuting by requiring staff to move into one of six offices or leave the company. IBM has experienced declining profits for many quarters and the hope is that by ending telecommuting, this will shake things up. What is interesting to me is that the article specifically called out that is shake up Peluso is doing compares to what Mayer did at Yahoo.
Weinberber, D. (2011). Too big to know: Rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren’t the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room. New York: NY.