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partnerships:articles:tele1 [2017/06/12 10:20] (current)
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 +Teletrade offers communities an economic safety net
 +===================================================
 +
 +\
 + By [Horace Mitchell](mailto:​eto-info@eto.org.uk)
 +\<​eto-info@eto.org.uk\>​\
 +
 +\
 +
 +Individuals can benefit from teleworking,​ but successful communities
 +need teletrade - doing business over networks - says Horace Mitchell of
 +the European Telework Development Initiative.
 +
 +Introduction
 +------------
 +
 +As I write this article, at the end of 1996, only about one in a hundred
 +Europeans are using the Internet every day - for work, for pleasure, for
 +education and the hundred other things you can read about in these
 +pages. In the UK we are well ahead of the average, with perhaps two or
 +even three per cent "​connected and networking"​. So why should we concern
 +ourselves with matters such as working-by-wire (telework) or
 +doing-business-across-networks (teletrade)?​ The short answer is: to open
 +up opportunities we cannot afford to miss.\
 +\
 + ​Telework opens up new ways to do today'​s job and new work opportunities
 +beyond today'​s job (or beyond unemployment). Teletrade is the other side
 +of the coin: it opens up new ways to do business, to find new customers,
 +even to invent and sell new products and services. Any individual who
 +feels he or she doesn'​t need such new opportunities is either very lucky
 +or perhaps just optimistic. Any community leader who doesn'​t see such
 +needs just isn't looking!
 +
 +Telework: Not Just Working at Home
 +----------------------------------
 +
 +The television, radio and newspapers have paid quite a lot of attention
 +to telework over the past few years, but the picture they'​ve painted is
 +not the whole story. Most of us are familiar with just one aspect of
 +telework - working at home instead of travelling to a company office.\
 +\
 + But working at home is only one aspect of telework. Telework means
 +using the Internet and similar technologies to "​change the geography of
 +work". That can mean **bringing work into a local community from
 +outside** - very important in some communities,​ for example where there
 +is high unemployment or where the kind of work on offer locally is very
 +limited so that creative young people want to move away. Changing the
 +geography of work can also mean **losing work from the local
 +community**;​ over half of all the work done in Europe today could in
 +future be done elsewhere using telework methods. So "being good at
 +telework"​ is an important safety precaution for any community.
 +
 +Teletrade: A New Engine of Growth and Prosperity
 +------------------------------------------------
 +
 +Teletrade means "doing business across the networks"​ and it can apply to
 +any kind of business. It will become increasingly important over the
 +next 20 years as telecommunication costs fall and bureaucratic barriers
 +to international trade are reduced.\
 +\
 + Some products and services can be sold, bought and delivered entirely
 +on the Internet, as when I "​download"​ a new piece of software from
 +Microsoft'​s website to my own personal computer. Some products and
 +services can be promoted and ordered online but have to be delivered
 +physically, as when I order a book or a report and I want to get the
 +paper version, or when I order a video recorder or a bunch of flowers -
 +yes, all these items can already by bought "​online"​ here in the UK. Of
 +course, some products I might not buy online, for example a house - I
 +just might want to go and look before I buy - but even with these I can
 +use the network to track down likely offers. Indeed this last example -
 +the product I'm unlikely to buy online - is where the significance of
 +teletrade can be seen most clearly. Once I get into the habit of
 +"​looking online",​ I'm inclined to favour suppliers who do a good job of
 +presenting their products and services online, regardless of what those
 +products might be.\
 +\
 + The message for communities and for community networking is clear - if
 +you want to be a prosperous community, with successful companies, a good
 +supply of jobs and work - local as well as telework - and the financial
 +capacity and independence to do all the exciting things you can read
 +about in these pages, make sure that people and companies in your
 +community understand about teletrade and have started learning to do it
 +well.
 +
 +What to Do About It Personally
 +------------------------------
 +
 +So what can you do personally to benefit from telework and teletrade?
 +Like so many questions the answer starts "It all depends"​ . . . .
 +
 +-   **If you have a job**, consider how the networks can be used to make
 +    you more effective in that job, or make the job easier or more
 +    attractive to do.
 +-   **If you are self employed**, consider how you can use the networks
 +    to reach new customers, or do a better job for your existing
 +    customers, or reduce your costs of doing business.
 +-   **If you are running a business or helping to run one**, consider
 +    how the networks can be used to improve the way your business works
 +    internally as well as how you present your business to its
 +    customers.
 +-   **If you are unemployed**,​ you should definitely find out all about
 +    telework and teletrade and consider what kind of skills and talents
 +    you have that can be used to good effect "​online"​.
 +-   **If you are involved in community networks and networking**,​ make
 +    sure your community is "​tapped in" to the growing wealth of telework
 +    and teletrade experience world wide.
 +
 +How to Learn More about Telework and Teletrade
 +----------------------------------------------
 +
 +The European Telework Development Initiative has been established by
 +some forty organisations across Europe with support from the European
 +Commission to help people, organisations and communities to "get
 +connected"​ and start to benefit from telework and teletrade as quickly
 +as possible. It offers information,​ advice and practical examples in
 +most European languages.\
 +\
 + You can find more through the European Telework Online website
 +([http://​www.eto.org.uk](http://​www.eto.org.uk/​)),​ or by emailing the
 +Initiative at <​eto-info@eto.org.uk>​. In the UK, contact the Initiative'​s
 +UK coordinator (The Telework, Telecottage and Telecentre Association):​
 +website <​http://​www.tca.org.uk/>,​ email <​tca@venus.co.uk>,​ fax 01203
 +696538 and phone 01203 696986.
  
partnerships/articles/tele1.txt ยท Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)