In 1876 Alexander G. Bell created the thing that changed our world. Changed again.
And it wasn_t the last change in the modern history. Later in the XX century the modulator-demodulator also known as modem was created and really started the Telecommunications Age. First computers were connected together and the Net started growing.
In the last 20 years the lifestyle changed very much. Cellular phones and electronic mail changed the way we communicate, satellite TV and WWW sites changed the way we gget the news and on-line shops and junk e-mail changed the way we buy products and do our business. Work, social life, politics – the telecomm are coming everywhere, bringing freedom, equality and productivity. Now I will try to go deeper into these spheres.
Since the end of XIX century, when Marx wrote his famous book, „Capital“, the economic meaning of work has changed dramatically. For Marx labour was nothing more but another resource like capital or land.
In XX century manager sshows a bit more respect to employees. They are now individuals, who need to develop themselves and should be treated and motivated in right way.
XX century brought us a new idea: workers are paid for their time. Later, in mid-sixties, iit was thought that companies pay their employees for their skills and personal qualities. Among those qualities was creativity, company loyalty. For those companies that eventually switched to new system, it became very difficult to properly measure worker_s contribution to company_s results. These companies try to increase workers morale, motivate them, because it is evident: if workers don_t want to work, they won_t work. Or at least, the results will be extremely poor. That_s why in addition to motivation by money, managers try to create a feeling of mutual trust, belonging to company and common interests.
What new brings telework to this field? First it is ease of control and measurement. Results in electronic form can be easily archived, analysed bby computers, forwarded for checking and copied. Next, all information about time and efforts spent is available. Another thing is that fixed time-based salaries are gone. The company will no longer care so about who and how much spent on a task. This will become a question of personal choice. Now everyone will be given a freedom to decide whether to work or to have a rest. This can differentiate workaholics from ordinary lazy people. Right now there are same rrules for everybody. Rarely a company wants to have a lot of part-time workers. We cannot imagine a worker coming to factory when he is in the right mood. But with distant jobs you can have workers switching every now and then. We can even dream about perfect labour marketplace with contracts signed electronically for several hours. The psychological problems of switching jobs will be minimised. The retirement will no longer mean break of social relations, because they aren_t based on physical presence in the company HQ or at the factory.
This system of personal freedom has the potential to eradicate unemployment by allowing real-time communications and negotiation between employers and employees, leading to equilibrium labour price.
If you can measure the result of an office work, you can evaluate if it worth paying the money for result you get. Or the jobs are completely useless and ineffective. This can lead to boost in productivity. In telework usually people are paid for results, not for time. This motivates them to get better results, thus increasing productivity again! On the other hand, regardless of employee_s results, the company always gets what if pays for! Combined efforts of ten people can cost the same ffor the company if they have the same effect. And now together with perfect labour market we come to what Marx was talking about – labour is just the same as machines or land. The motivation is the problem of the person himself! And with a freedom of work choice motivation is not the problem. With telework one can easily apply for the job he likes and the company can review all candidates just comparing the results of their work.
Thanks to the efforts of many people all over the world the Net commerce and work is still not limited as their off-line counterparts. Zero taxes attract more and more of the trade turnover. The Stock Exchange and Currency Exchange systems already inculcated in the telecommunication world. With decreased transaction costs, development of telecommunications and computers the efficiency of these financial spheres is quickly increasing.
Electronic auctions have already come to reality. On AOLtm auctions there are 600 000 bids in different categories now. Surplus directtm and tens other electronic auctions are now in the Internet. This is a dream of classic economists – perfect market with all relevant information freely available. With continuous decrease in transportation costs this can make every mmarket global and make competition perfect, stopping the monopolies. One example is Microsofttm. Can we imagine that it will not succeed in stopping alternative OSes and browsers several years ago, without Internet? Free communications greatly increase the competitiveness of any product. Most on-line shops can offer lower prices for all products than their off-line colleagues can.
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