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July 29, 2010
Virtual Spaces Are Changing The Face Your Workforce
By Jacob Morgan
The way we work has changed dramatically over the past few years. I'm relatively young…turning 27 in a few weeks – yet even I can recall working for previous employers where there was just no way of getting things done without being present in the same location as my team (probably because for my first serious job I was occasionally asked to get coffee, can't do that virtually…). Today I think it's safe to say that a majority of the tasks that an individual needs to complete can be done just as effectively sitting on a beach in Maui as they can sitting in a cubicle.

Furthermore, the traditional work hours of 9-5 are becoming more and more irrelevant. One of the things that frustrated me the most when going into an office during a particular time was that just because someone told me that I needed to work from 9-5 doesn't mean I that I could. Like most people I have ideas and am more productive at various parts of the day; sometimes I get an idea at the gym, sometimes I get an idea in the shower, and sometimes I get an idea at 11pm at night – I don't think 9-5 and neither do most people. I also have a very interesting and dynamic workday. Sometimes I like to go to the gym mid afternoon and sometimes I like to work late and sleep in during the morning.

According to an article from the Sunday Times in 2009, "Working nine to five, what an archaic way to make a living. Recent research by Microsoft shows that 78% of people believe that traditional office hours no longer exist - and some forward-thinking companies are even dispensing with the office itself."

Current economic conditions are also propelling the virtual workforce initiative forward as it helps reduce overall operating costs. An article on CNN also highlights the value of virtual meetings and discusses new initiatives by Second Life to service this new virtual workforce. In my Enterprise 2.0 series on Intuit the organization mentioned that they are actively encouraging virtual work and are in fact now calling it "flexible work spaces."

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