Source: Image of world with lines around, laptop, circle, curved arrow, images by Video Scribe, License held by Jeff Carroll; Image of networked people, Public Domain, http://bit.ly/1n05Zl9.
Hi, I'm Jeff. And in this lesson, we'll learn about some of the virtual options for businesses and how they can improve employee satisfaction. So let's get started. First of all, a virtual presence is the representation of a business on the web and in the modern world. A virtual presence is a near necessity for a business, especially any business that wishes to expand its geographic reach. Global business can use a virtual presence to compete with larger companies in ways that weren't available in the past.
And in order to understand and manage a virtual presence, it's important to understand some of the infrastructure that is used to operate such a presence. There is a company's intranet. This is the non-public network of an organization that employees can gain entry to via the internet. This is the core of an organization's data and communication structure. And employees and managers will use this every day to communicate and exchange internal information in a secure manner.
The extranet-- a controlled network that allows specific users from outside an organization to access part or all of an organization's network. This can be used in two ways. Virtual workers such as telecommuters can use the extranet to access information. And customers can use the extranet to access products provided by the organization for their use.
A local area network, also known as a LAN-- this is a group of computers that are networked within a limited physical location. An organization needs a secure network with connected hardware in order to operate efficiently and safely. A LAN can provide this to all employees.
And a wide area network-- this is a group of computers that are networked in a large area and includes several local area networks. With larger businesses with multiple locations, there needs to be methods to connect several local area networks in a secure manner so all employees can exchange information. This is the purpose of the wide area network.
Now let's talk about some of the ways workers can operate remotely. In order to accommodate limited office space or as a way to improve employee morale and satisfaction, more organizations are offering their employees ways to work from home or in another remote location instead of going to the office each day. Let's talk about a few of these programs.
Flex-time programs-- this is a program to allow employees to set their own work hours within some guidelines. Since these programs give an employee some control over their work hours and address other issues of their lives, flex time can improve employee satisfaction and morale.
Telecommuting, which is a work agreement where employees can perform their job duties from a remote location-- for many workers, the commute to an office adds hours onto the workday. By telecommuting, these hours are given back to the worker, improving their morale.
And portable offices-- this is a specific laptop computer that recreates the business environment for the purpose of work. Portable offices can be used to give employees a temporary ability to work away from the office. This can be used for flex time and telecommuting. But it can also be used for brief times away from the office. This flexibility shows the organization's concern for their employees and will improve morale across the business.
OK, well done. In this lesson, we learned about the need for virtual presence in business. We talked about the infrastructure that supports that virtual presence. And we talked about some of the programs offered by organizations to remote workers. Thanks for your time and have a great day.