Réseau d'Activités à Distance


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Contributions to ETODL

the European Telework On-line Discussion List


Contributions during October 1996

On 8-10-96


Hubert Houdoy: I am a french, new, teleworker. "STARTING TELEWORK" is a real and interesting problem for everyone, because teleworkers Will Work With teleworkers. I think there will be two kind of teleworkers:

The initiative of Dino Gruppuso is interesting for everyone.

According with this opinion, I have created an organization (Association Loi 1901) in order to help the second population.

On 10-10-96

Upon RAD

The target of my project is essentialy: to help job searchers in creating their own activity. For them, telework is a mean to gain activity even if there is none in their town. Most of unemployed are affraid by new information technologies. They think they are the reason of unemployment.

On 10-10-96

To Horace Mitchell

Thank you Horace. These thoughts are really helpful.

1. Creating activity is a general need for 3 000 000 people, only in France. If each of them enter an organisation asking "is there some job for me please?" we put the focus on the job searcher and the teleworker. If we say "you have to create your own activity " we focuse on the need of initiative.

2. It seems that telework is not only a new way of working for the individual. It really becomes a new organisation for the market. I mean network organisation. And we have to focuse on the needs of the network.

3. It is possible to compare the actual crisis with the "enclosure movement". People could not find employement in the castle, nor in the fields. When they stopped asking jobs to the lords they built towns, industry and... our economic system. Just now, the large firm don't offer jobs sufficiently. New activities must be created outside of these firms. We need a new way of thinking. We have to offer new services each of us to the others. This is the "network in the mind".

4. As Horace explained, telework and local work are not really opposed one to the other when teleworkers build a high value network. A lot of competent people want to meet this new market.

5. We have to explain to the "myriad government and private agencies seeking to find jobs and work for people, starting from the person and trying to place the person", that it's time to create a network of services, in order to improve the productivity of everyone.

6. But, day after day, during the long job search, unemployed people may experiment the telesolidarity, which is a kind of teleworking. Day after day they imagine a new kind of work. They exchange theirs projects, they built virtual and flexible teams. So, in a network, the job searcher is already a teleworker, even if is has not yet a real income.

On 12-10-96

To Dino Gruppuso

It seems you have been heard. One hundred towns in France have created a network in order to work in partnership and exchange their experiences. This was organised by the "Alliance Ville Emploi" represented by Thierry Saussez. Perhaps one of you have knowledge of partner town in their country.

On 13-10-96

Enlarge the meaning of "telework"

We enter, for a long travel, in the country of incertaincy and mobility. If the customer/employer is sure that he needs someone for a long time, he will employ him. If he wants to save office room he will employ a teleworker. But if he is not sure about the duration of his need or project, he will buy a service, somewhere on a network he knows. I think uncertaincy is the criterium. For my own experience, during the last 15 years, I have not seen any certain project.

Tele-employment is not tele-service. Both constitue tele-activities. When employment become difficult and expensive for employers, we have to develop (tele-)services. Telework give a higher flexibility. I think that employee-telework will be, often, a stage to self-employed-telework.

On 15-10-96

Work implies negociation

Don't you think that, in some cases, instead of employing teleworkers, a large firm (in a large town, in a rich country) will prefer to buy a service to a small one (in a small town) which will engage teleworkers? This opinion is suggested by the experience described in "Parabole a Felletin"

On 16-10-96

Do we need brokers?

When you are employee, your employer make his problem of planning your work. In a large organisation, few people may organize for a lot of others.

When you are your own employer/employee, you are your searcher, you saler, your planer, etc. And the day has only 24 hours. (Have you seen the date and time of my messages?);-))

Jack Nilles has written about the law of comparative advantage. If I am a good teacher I have better to teach and teach and let somebody to sale my teaching, even if I am better saler than he is. I only have to be better teacher than saler.

If a broker AND/OR a network organisation allow me to save time, I will use, even if I have to pay for that.

We live at a very rich time.

These two phenomenons are quite different. We have to design their added results. The central question is: how the market will be regulated? Up to now, it was regulated by the "competition among the few". For example, IBM was not the best. IBM was the regulator. Tomorow, in an ocean of Small Offices Home Offices, how will we able to obtain the harmony (compatibility) of our anticipations (projects)? At any period, people have to pay for a kind of regulation (government, market, crisis, broker, network), to reduce uncertaincy.

I agree with you and John. If I have something to do for long years, I need no broker. (Sorry Dino!) But, in that case, employer are OK for employing. It's not the case today. It's not a matter of price. It's a matter of uncertaincy.

On 16-10-96

To Jack M. Nilles

I agree, we have a problem with terminology. Meaning is given by opposition. We need as many terms as we may combine binary oppositions.

Each of us make the distinction: local / tele

Most of us make the distinction: employee / his own

but we don't give the same importance to this opposition. And the first difficulty rose about the usefullness of brokers. An employee is not worried by the search of work. A free lance is worried by the way to know who needs his services. An employee and a free lance are two workers. But the free lance has to realise several works or tasks. The employer of the employee spends a large part of his time for organizing the market. So does and will do the free lance.

The historic definition of telework given, in 1973, by Jack M. Nilles contains TELE+WORK.

Tele is not local.

Work = either employee, either his own.

This definition is clear enough for this first difficulty.

I realise that I need a larger definition. It's the reason why I use "tele-activity".

TELE is not LOCAL (everyone agree with that)

Activity = either Work either Help either Solidarity either Organisation.

By this way, I introduce a new distinction: give money / do not give money

Someone will say: "We are talking about business. So, "don't give money" is out of the scope".

Inside of the large firm, all are employees. Some are paid to produce. Some are paid for searching customers.

In the new market organization, who will pay the customer's searchers? If we think that a free lance or a self employed person is destined to development, we have to Organise the market for him. A large part of his activity will not be paid.

Last but not least. If we think that telework give opportunity for rural development or other self employment, we have to transform unemployed into teleworkers. That will need Tele-Help, Tele-Solidarity. And Tele-Workers will continue their Tele-Organisation.

tele-activity = telework + teletrade + telecooperation

Especialy for the unemployed person we try to transform into a tele self employed person.

An for every Telesomething we need to TeleOrganise the TeleMarket.

* Web sites of some contributors

Horace Mitchell

Jalla, Jack M. Nilles

Alan Mc Cluskey

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Network for Remote Activities, in English

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Classement Thématique du Réseau d'Activités à Distance

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Mise à jour: 16/07/2003