Staying Connected: Technologies Supporting Remote Workers


I have just had an article published in the latest edition of Ariadne. The article looks at the technologies that support remote working, from broadband to Web 2.0 social networking tools. It covers:

  • What Do Home Workers Want?
  • Connecting – Broadband, Virtual Private Network, Wireless
  • Communication Technologies – E-mail, Telephony, Voice over Internet Protocol, Virtual Meetings, Online Chat, File Transfer, Blogs
  • Collaboration Technologies – Wikis, Shared Applications, Project Management
  • Social Networking
  • Technical Support – Security Technologies
  • Case Studies
  • Putting It All Together

It is an introductory piece, so if you are interested in any particular areas you will need to delve deeper, or follow the blog, but hopefully it will offer a starter for 10 for people who have just become, or are thinking about becoming, remote workers.


2 thoughts on “Staying Connected: Technologies Supporting Remote Workers

  1. Hi Marieke

    Liked your article, though I’m still not sure if “the ideal solution for most employees who work remotely is for the set-up at home to replicate the set-up in the office”. So many things about the office I don’t want anywhere near my home, and so many things about home that make it a nice place to be: so oughtn’t the reverse to be true? 🙂

    I also thought that there were some good ideas/examples in the way we set up JISC-PoWR online: the Google Apps environment is quite compelling. But in setting up systems for remote collaboration, it’s worth being sensitive to the danger of deploying too many Web 2.0 apps “becasue they are there”: faced with some very innovative or geeky team members, others might become overwhelmed or discouraged by the profusion of stuff. In any team, those who are most enthusiastic about a particular application should be prepared to test it thoroughly, and support and instruct those unfamiliar with it.

    In a Web 2.0 world, I think what home-workers increasingly need – just like pretty much everyone else – are means to Pull It All Together – manage the information flow effectively: institutions should be prepared to provide guidance, support, training and tools. This could mean something like iGoogle’s personalised pages, with a mixture of newsfeeds, bookmarks, email and chat alerts, or anything else that provides a functional personal portal (e.g. Peña-López’s Personal Research Portal).


    P.S. Such a shame Ariadne’s not a blog – when are they going to get with it?!

  2. Thanks Richard,

    I totally agree with your point that we need to be careful about “deploying too many Web 2.0 apps “because they are there”“. I’m not one of those to use technology for the sake of it and if it doesn’t work for me I won’t use it (unless there is pressure from my boss!)

    As I say in the article:

    The technologies that need to support remote working must make workers feel supported and connected. Furthermore they must also be straightforward to use and make tasks easier to do or they cease to be useful.2

    I think these are still early days for many of us when it comes to useing Web 2.0 tools and the situation is likely to evolve a great deal in the next few years. UKOLN is to a certain extent being the guinea pig for a lot of stuff, and so am I!

    Will get onto Ariadne about blogging it up! I think there is a master plan in place! Not sure what it is though…

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