Week 5 ILD 831 Assignment 11/22/2013
Develop a list of opportunities that networked workers bring to an organization, as well as challenges associated with networked workers. Keep the focus of your initial post and responses tied to this week’s learning objectives:
- Describe the pros and cons associated with freely available internet access to workers.
- Discuss ways that challenges brought by the internet can be co-opted as opportunities.
A networked worker is a person who commonly uses e-mail, the Internet, cell phone and other digital media to do their professional work as well as to attend to their personal matters (Techweb, 2008).
Networked Workers Opportunities:
- Networked workers bring the diversity of their contacts to the organization.
- They bring flexibility to the organization as they have the ability to function for the business outside of normal routines.
- Technological communication devices make work easier (not always better) (Techweb, 2008).
- Networked workers find it easier to communicate ideas (Techweb, 2008).
- Working from home equates with the perception of increased benefits by the networked worker, as commute time is limited.
Networked Workers Challenges:
- It is expensive to continually upgrade technological communication devices.
- The flexibility of technology also brings another level of stress to the worker (Techweb, 2008).
- Communication technology intensifies the demands on the worker to work more hours.
- Networked workers experience blurred boundaries and have difficulty keeping work time and personal time separate. Thus, they experience less time thinking/worrying about work responsibilities when they are supposed to be rejuvenating themselves in their free time from work.
- Networked workers get distracted from work by their personal business that is so easily connected to at work via the devices.
According to Madden and Jones (2008), white-collar workers possess more technological devices. The tables below summarize the networked worker:
Like in many other areas of life, it is imperative that a person strive for balance and focus on keeping oneself healthy. Despite communication technology being a good thing, a good thing taken too far or used without limits/rules can quickly become a bad thing. An example is the automobile. The automobile had many advantages, but when used with disregard to traffic laws and with poor judgment, negative consequences follow. However, few people in the United States would choose to live without an automobile once they have access to one. Thus, one of the on-going challenges of technology is to use it in moderation. Technology is best balanced with time spent in nature.
Madden, M., & Jones, S. (2008). Networked Workers. Washington D.C.: Pew Research
Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
Techweb. (2008, September 24). ‘Networked workers:’ Connected, distracted, stressed.
Retrieved from http://www.techweb.com/news/210603761/networked-workers-