Learning Opportunity, teleworking in the future

Have you seen KhanAcademy.com?  This website claims you can watch and learn almost anything, for free.  It seems to be true, with over 2100 videos ranging from algebra, chemistry & physics to the banking bailout and Fed policy, there is something for everyone to learn.   The videos are pretty informative and broken up into nice 10-20 minute chunks.  Check it out on a rainy day and learn something new!

I caught a great article on working remotely by Greg Lindsay in the Southwest Airlines Spirit magazine this month.   I especially like his theory he calls the Law of Connectivity – every technology meant to circumvent distances electronically has only stoked our desire to traverse the distances ourselves.

These technologies, from the telegraph and telephone to the Internet and video conferencing, have allowed us to expand our social and business networks exponentially.   But rather than replace our need to meet face to face, we have even more dreams to meet in person – today along with business meetings, we have “tweetups” and trips to meet our Facebook and LinkedIn friends, many for the first time in person.  As a result, the number of air passengers has doubled in the Internet era.

For many, this ever increasing nomadic lifestyle means they don’t need a “real” office.   Most of the IT vendors I work with on a daily basis are highly virtual.  Over 40% of IBM’s employees work from home or a client office, and 33% of AT&T’s managers also work remotely.

The benefits to the company are huge – lower physical costs such as rent and utilities, and a distributed workforce that can more quickly respond to client needs.  Certainly, the right person also enjoys some benefits of working remotely, and many are more productive than they would be in a large office.   This demographic works from home, airports, coffee shops and executive suites.

This movement is leading to new developments such as Mesa del Sol in Albuquerque, NM (btw – one of my favorite destinations).  Located right near the airport, Mesa del Sol is a new, planned community aimed at the remote worker.  The community will be small, walkable and self-contained.  The homes will all sport a purpose built home office, equipped for the teleworker and separated from the rest of the house.  Scattered throughout will be shared meeting rooms and on-call support staff.   What a fun trend to watch!  Check out the full article here:  http://www.spiritmag.com/click_this/article/the_corporate_latter/.