Definition: Virtual Work is “work performed away from the traditional physical workplace by using information technology” (McShane & Von Glinow, 2013, p. 21)
Summary: The article entitled “The Third Wave of Virtual Work” written by Tammy Johns and Lynda Gratton discusses how virtual work has evolved in three different waves over the past thirty years.
The first wave of virtual work started in the mid 1980’s and created a demand for freelancers/independent contractors with limited skills sets. As technology continued to advance in early 2000, the second wave allowed full-time employees to work anytime from anywhere. Although there have been significant cost savings ...view middle of the document...
I work from home 60% of the time and travel regularly to meet with clients, however, I never report physically to the home office. At times I feel alone and disadvantaged, but I communicate regularly with my colleagues via tele-conference calls and emails and it helps ease that anxiety.
One of my responsibilities as a virtual worker is that I have to provide weekly and monthly reports on my activity to my manager. The company uses this information to keep track of my progress and it’s also used to evaluate my performance on a quarterly and yearly basis.
It’s important to note that virtual work is not for everyone. I think this type of work arrangement is best suited for individuals that are self-motivated, independent, and don’t mind working alone or unsupervised.
What do you consider to be some negative aspects of virtual work? Do you think virtual work will hinder an employee’s growth potential? Why or why not?
Hampton, J. (2011). Managing a virtual work force. Area Development Site and Facility Planning, 46(3), 22-23. Retrieved...