The key technologies required for establishing an effective Remote Workspace, whether it’s at home or leveraging a Smart Work Centre are outlined in Figure bolow and include three broad elements:

  1. Connectivity technologies for enablement
  2. Collaboration technologies for productivity and effectiveness
  3. Workplace features to provide a professional working environment

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Remote Workspaces must be seamless and transparent to how teleworkers need to work, must be flexible in how they cater for a range of deployment situations, must be accommodating of different working styles, and inclusive in terms of allowing the teleworker to stay an active part of the organisation and their team. Consequently the infrastructure used to enable teleworkers and their Remote Workspaces must be simple (teleworkers cannot be expected to be IT specialists), predictable and robust.

Remote Workspaces manifest themselves in two broad ways:

  • Telework home offices – an ergonomically safe and productive working environment within an employee’s home, capable of being closed off from household distractions. This is ordinarily a desk in a private space, a study, but can be as extravagant as a bungalow or as basic as a laptop on a kitchen table.
  • Smart Work Centres – Also known as Digital Work Hubs orTelework Centres, these are a new form of urban or peri-urban infrastructure that provide a shared space from which teleworkers, mobile workers and small businesses can work. They typically provide a comprehensive set of office facilities similar to a serviced office (i.e. work spaces, meeting rooms, office equipment, networks and IT, kitchen etc.) but do so on a casual rather than leased basis - essentially ‘book-on-demand’ office spaces. Their attraction, beyond facilities which would be valuable to teleworkers who don’t have a suitable home workspace, includes social interaction that teleworkers may invariably miss if working remotely of their time, the ability for multiple teleworkers from the same organisation to have a common, local and convenient place to meet, and the ability for businesses to utilise the Smart Work Centre as a local presence.
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“Telework should not be confused with Remote Access (the simple ability for staff to access company networks externally). Teleworkers have a more consistent and prolonged need to remain connected and engaged with their co-workers and company systems; they need Remote Workspaces”

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