oa South African Journal of Information Management - Information and communications technology, virtual offices and telework

Volume 4 Number 2
  • ISSN : 2078-1865
  • E-ISSN: 1560-683X



Virtual offices (VOs) emerged in enterprises as a result of information and communication technology (ICT) developments that drastically changed the traditional office scenario. The VO is a worksite at which employees can still do traditional office work, but which is situated outside the traditional office. Virtual implies the use of ICT, and VOs are typically equipped with a combination of technologies that enables information workers to recreate the support services of the traditional office. This new scenario has initially been referred to as the VO or telecommuting. Academics in the USA have concluded that both these terms are misleading and nondescriptionptive. Instead, the terms 'telework' or 'teleworkers' are now used; 'tele' meaning 'distance', combined with 'work', implying work that is executed from a distance or away from the traditional workplace. A teleworker is defined as a corporate employee who works at home or at any other workstation during normal business hours for one or more days every month. Telework generates significant benefits for the corporate environment and improves work and personal lifestyle experiences, as well as environmental and social circumstances. It has also contributed to a significant paradigm shift in the corporate management arena.

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