Glossary of E-Work Terms
As more and more people begin to work remotely or through a virtual office it’s becoming necessary to have a standard set of terms and definitions to describe this type of work.
To use the Glossary of E-Work Terms simply click the first letter of the word for which you would like to find information:
A facility set up to handle a large volume of phone calls, often of the customer service variety. However, call centers can be limited to either inbound or outbound calls. For example, some sales operations have inbound- only call centers using 1-800 technology. Call centers can be centralized or distributed. The European Commission has supported distributed, local call centers in order to facilitate access to work sites. Such sites are ideal for telework.
electronic mail, or written messages that people exchange via computer in ordinary language. It is created, sent, delivered and read using a specific software product that must be bought by the user and loaded onto his or her computer. Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Mail, and Eudora are all e-mail products. E- mail sent from one person to another on the same LAN or WAN is delivered by the network itself. E-mail from one network or computer system to another is delivered via the internet by an INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER.
Time spent at the employer’s offices interacting with colleagues, supervisors, etc. Many employers require regular face time to ensure the teleworker’s integration into company culture and practices.
a secure way of setting up a computer network so that users ‘outside’ the firewall cannot gain access. For example ABC Company may have an internal information system (sometimes called an intranet) that everyone in the company can use to communicate, but no one outside the company can access it because of the ABC’s firewall.
Denotes a range of working practices defined by employers and documented in employment policies. Flexible work policies give employees latitude as to how work will get done. Examples are flexible hours (the policy states a minimum number of hours to be worked and parameters for when those hours can be); flexible work location (various permissible work locations are defined); and flexible work contracts (for example the employee’s role may vary within defined parameters).
The worldwide networking of separate computer systems and networks into one “information superhighway”. To get around, “browse,” or “surf” this complex interconnection of networks, special software and hardware are needed. The cost of such equipment would be prohibitive for individuals, or even most companies. However, a user can gain access to the internet via an Internet Service Provider(ISP). One cannot get onto the internet simply by buying a computer, but must also contract with an ISP, usually for a monthly fee. Compuserve, AOL, Worldnet, MSN, and Mindspring are just a few of the hundreds of ISP’s available.
LAN (Local Area Network)
A group of computers hooked up to operate as a network within a specific building or on a floor of a building. The largest LAN’s can operate among a few neighboring buildings.
A device that allows a computer to communicate with another computer by dialing over telephone lines. Modems may be built into computers or added onto them as separate equipment. To get onto the INTERNET, one’s computer must dial an ISP’s computer using a modem
The rules of behavior for the Internet and e- mail communications.
A code known only to a specific user, thanks to which he or she can access a computer network, program, system or file. Usually a word or phrase.
A term generally used from the management point of view, meaning workers who are based at a location or locations different from management’s location. For example a plant in Singapore might have remote Purchasing employees in Hong Kong. This is often the case when the remote employees serve more than one organizational unit. The Hong Kong Purchasing group might service all of an American company’s Far East operation.
A facility set up for the support of teleworkers; includes both single-company centers and multi- company facilities. Sometimes set up as a satellite office by a company, a partnership of companies, or an independent vendor of telework support.
A meeting held among people at different locations using telecommunications software that allows meeting attendees to all dial a single number, then talk among themselves.
A meeting held among people at different locations wherein attendees can both hear and see one another. It involves a set of hardware and software linked together, including cameras, microphones, scanners, and television screens at each attendee location.
Workers who belong to separate organizations, and/or operate as independent contractors, but sometimes work together to accomplish a specific, defined result. For example, an Environment Engineering firm might create a virtual organization of engineers, financial analysts, scientists, and information technologists, all of whom work for other companies or universities, but who cooperate to deliver specific work to the Environmental Engineering firm on an as needed basis.
Virtual Team (Distributed Team or Dispersed Team)
employees from the same or different departments in the same company who work as a structured team under a designated team leader to accomplish a specific, defined result. For example, Product Development Managers often pick individuals from around the company to bring a new idea to market. Those individuals work on the new product until it is delivered, at which time they return to their separate department structures, where they have a permanent organizational home.