Friday, January 20, 2006

"Improved" work life?

Wi-fi slow to enthuse consumers
According to a survey for electronics giant Toshiba, only a handful of people use a laptop to go online when they are outside of the home.

"'Many users appear to be failing to capitalise on the opportunities presented to them through mobility,' said Steve Crawley, head of mobile strategy at Toshiba.

'Consumers who are only using their devices in the home are missing out on huge opportunities to benefit from technologies which can dramatically improve their working lives,' he said.


Nearly 90% said the big disadvantage of wireless working was that it meant they worked longer hours.

The majority said their laptops meant they worked an extra hour or two each week but a fifth said their extra hours were as high as 10 per week."


Blogger Phil said...

It's a depressingly familiar story. (I think it's in Capital, come to think of it.) Opportunities to work outside the workplace are great, as long as they're balanced by opportunities to spend less time at the workplace. I'm an academic researcher; if I tell my manager that I'm working from home tomorrow - or that I'm leaving early tonight, but that I'll put some work in over the weekend - nobody will turn a hair. But most managers aren't that enlightened.

Blogger vanderwal said...

I have spent a fair amount of time talking to people informally about their use or lack of use of web-based applications (along the lines of 37Signals Basecamp and other products).

Lack of use or desire for these applications comes down to one factor with two different reasons.

Connectivity is the issue.

There is one group of people that would use the web apps were is not for lack or loss of connectivity. They find that they want to use the web application in their 'tween times (commuting, coffee break, travel), but losing connectivity breaks their work flow and they get frustrated. They also may not have connectivity when they want to work and there is not currently a way to work with web apps off-line and sync when connectivity is regained (APIs will help in these regards).

The second reason is people do not want to always be connected. They enjoy their down time. Or they laptop/device they have is too big to take with them everywhere (or they are concerned with loss/theft of their device). It is a rare few of us that take our laptops nearly everywhere we go. Some have alternate devices to their laptops (Blackberry, Treo, or Nokia 770) that are more amenable to carry and use, but even these can be too large for some situations for many people.

We are getting pervasive computing and near continuous connectivity, but the desire for this is lacking.


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