Conducting meetings on "Star Trek" was easy enough. When Capt. Kirk needed to speak with someone, he often talked to an image on a video screen. For face-to-face encounters, Scotty easily beamed the participants aboard the Enterprise. Though conducting meetings in the corporate world has yet to reach that level of sophistication, virtual teamwork has come a long way over the past decade (Drew 106).
As the environment in which we work transitions from brick and mortar office buildings to virtual playgrounds many researchers, writers and editorialists have spent their time writing and analyzing this new found way of thinking and working. There are many articles which address the growing trend of virtual workplaces or alternative workplaces (AW), the current impact they have on businesses as well as what their impact will be in the future.
Literature focusing on the virtual environment seems to have a general theme. Most articles addressed the advantages and disadvantages of the virtual workplace structure and touched on the importance of the technology involved in the process. As the trend in AW expands, researchers have been given the chance to see quantifiable results. Writers can now add quantitative data to support their theories on the advantages of implementing a virtual workplace.
There is not much variation amongst authors regarding the technology that helps make virtual organizations possible. However, there are differences in what authors see as advantages and disadvantages of the virtual workplace and these findings are summarized throughout this paper. There are also implications the new workplace poses on managers. As the trend of virtual workplaces continues to grow, pundits and supporters will continue to analyze the benefits and negative aspects this has on businesses, both large and small, throughout the world.
One of the most critical aspects of virtual organizations is the technology that enables...