iWorkers, eWorkers and Collaboration
Are you an eWorker? Maybe an iWorker? To be honest, we don’t know the difference either. Last we heard, the majority of people were knowledge workers. That would make them kWorkers. We do know that kWorkers collaborate a lot. In fact, knowledge and information are not very useful if no one shares them or needs them. But since we don’t know what an eWorker or iWorker is, we can’t really comment on their collaboration habits. So we went investigating.
What is an eWorker, iWorker, etc.?
First, eWorkers. We suspected that e-working had something to do with being a remote employee or telecommuting. Sure enough, the Free Dictionary defines e-worker as someone who works “at home using a computer connected to the network of one’s employer.” There is even a website for eWorker, www.eworker.co, which stretches this definition a bit to include providing outsourced digital and technical talent from Africa. Wherever they’re working from, we know that eWorkers are constantly connected and in search of ways to collaborate as efficiently as possible.
Now, what is an iWorker? It depends what the “I” stands for. In 2012, a blog entry defined it as an Information Worker—a person who uses information to assist in making decisions or taking action, or a person who creates information that informs the decisions or actions of others. Don’t kWorkers do that? And eWorkers too for that matter. We’d even go so far to say that anyone alive uses information to assist in making decisions.
Back to Google, and we find a slide presentation from 2011 that describes iWorker 1.0, and iWorker 1.5 . These iWorkers bring their own devices and preferred software to work to improve personal productivity, mobility, and enjoyment. That’s no longer news. And the presentation doesn’t define the “i”—it could be information worker, individual worker, incidental worker, indigent worker…they just don’t say.
Next we find the Ricoh Corporation defining iWorker as Intelligent Workers—“reliable, highly skilled employees who perform with speed and accuracy, and have access to all the necessary information to meet the needs of their business and clients by optimizing the way they use technology and eliminating information silos.” (Maybe their iWorker really should mean “idealWorker?”) Anyway, according to Ricoh businesses can “activate” iWorkers by using collaboration tools, optimizing business processes, moving to the cloud, and digitizing hard-copy documents. We’re not sure what worker intelligence has to do with this, but we’ll go with this for a moment and say that, sure, when people have the information and tools they need, they can perform better.
How to collaborate and communicate with iWorkers, eWorkers, and anyone else?
In this day and age when most people on the planet communicate and collaborate daily with digital devices, there’s no point in splitting hairs about the small letter in front of the word “worker.” Get yourself an easy-to-use collaboration solution and eliminate time, distance, and application obstacles to working together.
For example, Amium keeps projects in their own folders with all of their associated documents and files, which eliminates document and application silos. An activity feed tracks when files are changed, which saves time and streamlines response. Chat conversations are saved with the correct project and always available for reference, so details shared on the fly aren’t forgotten. It’s free, and you can download it in a few minutes. Perhaps best of all, it’s so intuitive that you won’t need to spend hours getting up to speed. It works like your favorite consumer apps.We say ‘free the worker’ from the restrictions of narrow definitions and inflexible tools. What we all want is gWorkers (GreatWorkers).