1. Virtual offices are those in which technology has supplanted physical office space. They are not to be confused with virtual organizations, in which firms outsource many of their operations or build an organization using multiple suppliers for traditionally internal functions. For an overview of the latter concept, see:
H.W. Chesbrough and D.J. Teece, “When Is Virtual Virtuous?” Harvard Business Review, volume 74, January–February 1996, pp. 65–73; and
W.H. Davidow and M.S. Malone, The Virtual Corporation (New York: HarperCollins, 1992).
2. Early work on telecommuting, substituting technology for commuting, was done in 1974, when J.M. Nilles coined the term. For a more recent discussion of the topic, see:
J.M. Nilles, Making Telecommuting Happen: A Guide for Telemanagers and Telecommuters (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1994).
3. For a fuller discussion of the trade-off between control and use of handheld terminals by field service personnel, see:
J. O’Neil, K. Ostrofsky, and J. Cash, “Otis Elevator: Managing the Service Force” (Boston: Harvard Business School, case 191213, 1991).
4. The idea that a company generally makes accommodation decisions to improve its functioning is described as a misconception in:
J.C. Vischer, “Strategic Work-Space Planning,” Sloan Management Review, volume 37, Fall 1995, p. 35–42.
5. F.D. Becker, K.L. Quinn, A.J. Rappaport, and W.R. Sims, “Implementing Innovative Workplaces” (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University, International Workplace Studies Program, July 1994a), p. 6.
6. Infonetics Research Inc., study cited in InformationWeek, 22 January 1996, p. 33.
7. F.D. Becker, K.L. Quinn, and L.U. Callentine, “The Ecology of the Mobile Worker” (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University, International Workplace Studies Program, July 1994b), p. 39.
8. Information about IBM’s program comes from interviews with IBM managers and a case study. See:
E.W. Martin, “IBM-Indiana” (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University, 1994).
9. For a more detailed discussion of the ways in which communication technologies supplement and, in some cases, replace social interactions in organizations, see:
L. Sproull and S. Kiesler, Connections: New Ways of Working in the Networked Organization (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1992).
10. Conversations with IBM managers.
11. Becker et al. (1994b), p. 40.
12. See R. Walton, Up and Running: Integrating Information Technology and the Organization (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1989).
13. Information about VeriFone was obtained primarily through personal interviews with VeriFone managers. A Harvard Business School case study provides a good overview of the firm’s approach to the virtual office. See:
D. Stoddard, R. Nolan, and H. Galal, “VeriFone: The Transaction Automation Company (A)” (Boston: Harvard Business School, case 195088, 1994).
Verifone was recently acquired by Hewlett-Packard.
14. For a particularly insightful book on teams in general, see:
J. Hackman, ed., Groups That Work (and Those That Don’t) (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1990).
Other references for teams include: W. Dyer, Team Building: Current Issues and New Alternatives (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison Wesley, 1995);
S. Mohrman, S. Cohen, and A. Mohrman, Designing Team-Based Organizations (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1995); and
R. Wellins, W. Byham, and J. Wilson, Empowered Teams (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1991).
15. Sproull and Kiesler (1992).
16. Much has been written about groupware and other technology to support teams. Early work is best summarized in:
R. Johansen, Groupware: Computer Support for Business Teams (New York: Free Press, 1998).
A more recent book presents a practical guide to combining teams and current information technology. See:
J. Lipnack and J. Stamps, Virtual Teams: Reaching across Space, Time, and Organizations with Technology (New York: Wiley, 1997).
17. See D. Mankin, S.G. Cohen, and T.K. Bikson, Teams and Technology: Fulfilling the Promise of the New Organization (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1996), p. 153.
18. C. Handy, “Trust and the Virtual Organization,” Harvard Business Review, volume 73, May–June 1995, pp. 40–50.
19. C.U. Ciborra and N.T. Svetens, “Groupware for an Emerging Virtual Organization,” in C.U. Ciborra, ed., Groupware and Teamwork: Invisible Aid or Technology Hindrance (New York: Wiley, 1996), pp. 188–209.
20. L. Applegate, J. Cash, and D.Q. Mills, “Information Technology and Tomorrow’s Manager,” Harvard Business Review, volume 66, November–December 1988, pp. 128–136.
21. See T.H. Davenport, S.L. Jarvenpaa, and M.C. Beers, “Managing and Improving Knowledge Work Processes,” Sloan Management Review, volume 38, Summer 1996, pp. 53–65.
22. F. Becker and F. Steele, Workspace by Design (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1995), pp. 116–135.