i3 - May/June 2017 - 27

TELEWORKING:
ONE-THIRD
OF EMPLOYEES
DO IT
"Employment is
what you do, not
where you do it,"
says Charles Wilsker,
president of the
Telework Coalition,
a 15-year-old advocacy group that promotes the awareness
and acceptance of
telecommuting and
work-from-home
activities. About
33 percent of U.S.
employees are
involved in telework
each week, Wilsker
explains, acknowledging that this figure
encompasses scheduled assignments plus
emergency situations
caused by weather,
traffic or family situations. Like other
telework proponents,
Wilsker cites the
growing availability
of broadband as
a vital factor in telework acceptance.
"The advances
in technologies
and their adoption
have enabled most
workers to work
from anywhere,"
he explains. "If a job
is primarily done

 

using a computer
and phone, there is
very little reason to
strap yourself in a car
and drive to work
when the same tools
are available at home."
Wilsker says that
corporate and government decades-long
flirtation with telework
has had its ups and
downs. The financial
savings are off-set
by growing concerns
about cybersecurity
and by managers
who worry about
the inability to supervise employees.
"Work can be measured by productivity,
not time spent staring
at a computer," he
says. "Minds are usually changed by quantifying the benefits
to both the employer
and employee.'
The "gig economy" -
contract and projectbased assignments -
is facilitating the corporate adoption of telework procedures.
Moreover, the expansion of information-age
jobs means that many
specialty tasks can

be handled from nonoffice locations.
Many future jobs
will require on-site
presence: construction, transportation
and most manufacturing. But work-fromhome tasks are
moving beyond the
historical mainstays
such as writing/editing, data entry and
customer service.
Wilsker cites jobs that
can be handled from
home or remote work
centers, such as
accounting, auditing,
payroll, job interviewing, spreadsheet
analysis, medical
recording, procurement and fulfillment.
The roster of "teleworkable" jobs also
includes "Thinking."

GO ONLINE: Visit CTA.tech/i3 to learn more about CTA's
"New American Jobs Summit" held May 5 in Washington, DC.

C TA . t e c h / i 3

"Scale is a big problem," explained one
manager, who outlined hurdles, such as
revising deployment schedules because it
takes longer to splice fiber optics lines than
to handle a similar task for coaxial cable.
A Corning Inc. network architect described
how his company has spent years developing routines to make field splicing easier
and make "vconnectorization" less fragile.
Other speakers agreed that companies will
have to invest time and effort to develop
training programs for workforce familiarity
with the new skills.
Similar challenges lurk in other industries. But as Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert
concluded in a recent rumination about
what she called the "Fusion Revolution." She
said, "The more things change, the quicker
things change."
She observed that the reshaped jobs market is "disrupting whole industries" and
cited research showing that 77 percent of
companies are planning to retrain personnel
"to use technology or redesign jobs to better
take advantage of human skills."
Engelbert's outlook reflects the diversity of
the future job market. Here's an unexpected
example from the realm of chatbots and customer service artificial intelligence. Software
to handle a wide variety of situations will
require dialogue to be written. As a result,
some AI firms are hiring poets. Poets as part
of the technology job-shift. Revolutionary! n
MAY/JUNE 2017

27


http://www.CTA.tech/i3 http://www.CTA.tech/i3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - May/June 2017

Contents
i3 - May/June 2017 - Cover1
i3 - May/June 2017 - Cover2
i3 - May/June 2017 - Contents
i3 - May/June 2017 - 2
i3 - May/June 2017 - 3
i3 - May/June 2017 - 4
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i3 - May/June 2017 - Cover3
i3 - May/June 2017 - Cover4
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