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TELECOMMUTING – DISAPPEARANCE OF PLACE

by Phil Wiley
The new Superjumbo's, the next generation of airliners, put the frighteners on me. Call
me a Luddite if you will, but I can imagine the headlines when the first one crashes. 1000 dead
in one go. Not that I’ll be on the list. I’ve given up travel, even to the office.
I'm writing this from my veranda, just onshore from Australia's Great Barrier reef. It's in
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the high 80's, parrots and palm trees in the garden. It sure beats Central London and the
crowded underground into Soho, the last place I worked.
I've become a long-distance drop out from the metropolis; separated by space, but
united by communication. Using cellular phone, fax, and modem I can conduct most, if not all,
of my research without leaving my comfy chair. With a notebook computer and the latest

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wireless radio modems, it's technically possible for me to do my work on the beach and sell it
globally within minutes.
Communication technology, particularly the Internet, is shrinking the world. Combine the
net

with

virtual
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20

telephones

and

reality,

and physical travel

will no longer be

as important. Using

VR, which at the

rate of technological

advance will be

perfectly feasible at

home in a few

years, we'll be able

to

home

and, if we cared to,

work in a virtual

reality office. Perhaps

the illusion of a

busy virtual reality

office would be

good for me. Some-

times

hard

stay

I feel it

myself
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video

ings.

to

motivate

in

such

laid back surround-

But

then

again, I feel that

telecommuting seems to encourage certain entrepreneurial qualities, including drive, selfdiscipline, self-reliance, and improved judgment. Away from the office you know you've got to
perform or your idyll could be shattered with an E-mailed redundancy notice. Or if you're self
employed just the thought of no easy pay cheque and no paid holidays does the trick.
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This telecommuting concept taps into our powerful nostalgia for village life, far from the
hassles of city living or a demanding and expensive commute. Granted I've taken it to
extremes. When most people talk about telecommuting they mean avoiding driving into the
city. Not moving 14,000 miles to the other side of the world. Swopping snow for sun.
Waterstone's and Dillons for amazon.com. Harrods and Oxford Street for the local highway

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shopping strip.
I miss England sometimes. But the point is that with modern technology, you can live
where you choose to live, and pull in an income from anywhere in the world. All you have to do
is find something you can sell. Whether it's your remote computing skills, information, coffee,
or plots of land on Mars, there's a lot you can do on the Net.
http://www.ozemedia.com/articles/telearts.htm#Ultimate

it will be ___________________________________________________.” (lines 5/6) a) The author is afraid of flying. 4. we (line 18) ________________________________ B. one (line 2) ________________________________ 3. C. 62 points 1. The author has taken _______________________________________________________ to extremes – not only has he stopped ___________________________________. you don’t _____________________________________ or __________________ ___________________ unless you put your hand to work. Now answer these questions on the text. Use your own words as much as possible. 1. you (line 2) ________________________________ 2. 3. Complete these sentences with information from the text. 1.” (line 12) 4. Although at the moment it is not possible to _________________________________________________ ___________________. The author ____________________________ his job in an office and moved to ___________________. List the advantages and disadvantages of telecommuting referred to by the author.I. b) You must get your job done. “ […] you’ve got to perform or your idyll could be shattered with an E-mailed redundancy notice. particularly the Internet. If you work for yourself. my (line 10) _______________________________ 5. b) The author is afraid of flying. b) Communication technology is making the world poorer. is shrinking the world. 3. a) It’s better than Central London. but he has also ___________ _______________________________________________________________. “The new superjumbo’s […] put the frighteners on me. _______________________________________________________ . this (line 4) ________________________________ 4. 24 points 1. Read the text and who/what these words refer to. 40 points D. 1. So. 5. is the author in favour or against telecommuting? Write a short paragraph (70-80 words) linking the ideas you’ve written in 1. otherwise you won’t get noticed. Choose the best meaning for these phrases by circling the right option. 2. b) It’s worse than Central London. “It sure beats Central London […]. A.” (line 28) a) Communication technology is making the world a smaller place.1. a) You must get your job done or you could be fired. “Communication technology. He can work from home due to ____________________________________________________________.” (line 1) 20 points 2. it (line 10) ________________________________ 6.

He worked hard all day though he wasn’t feeling well. (in spite of) 30 points __________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ 2. especially as they choose to live farther and farther from their ____________________.A. These analysts contend that new generations of workers are less ____________________ to sacrifice time with family than their counterparts of previous eras. Finally. voice mail. Read the text below and complete it with the words in the box. With the advent of high speed modems." Shaw and other  employers  willing observers also note demographic ____________________ within the American work force as a factor in the ____________________ of telecommuting.referenceforbusiness. and its usage is expected  to increase in the future._________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ II. This desire to spend more time at home and avoid long ____________________ is touted as a key factor in making telecommuting an attractive benefit. Highly skilled  growth  new technologies workers have begun to demand more ____________________  businesses  customers work arrangements. ____________________ have made working from home a viable alternative. 24 points Telecommuting is an increasingly popular work option in many changes ____________________ and industries. (in order to) _______________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ 3.com/small/Sm-Z/Telecommuting. Many women turn to home-based work so that they can enjoy flexibility in working location and hours. 1.html B. electronic mail and the like. fax machines. powerful personal computers. http://www. (because) __________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ GD WORK! . workers can now perform their jobs without losing touch with employers and ____________________. Rewrite these sentences without changing their meaning. boosted by new ____________________  innovations  flexible  commutes in computer and communication technology. Use the expressions given in brackets. Telecommuting arrangements help workers realize a general improvement in their personal "quality of life” and as a result they feel much happier.