In blogging about ComputerWorld's interview with Ray Ozzie, I really wanted to make a different point than I ended up doing.  Let's narrow the quote:

it's not just the nature of business that's changing; it's the nature of work itself that's changing. You're working with multiple companies, and you're working with people in a geographically distributed manner. You're working at home and in the workplace.
This is my world for sure.  As most of you know, I have no physical IBM office.  I do my job from the usually-comfortable environs of my home office, or an airport/airplane, hotel room, or customer site.  Time is not a major factor -- I often work at 2 AM as much as 10:30.  Now here's the provocative part -- external parties, such as customers or partners, consume as much of my "work day" as internal interactions.  E-mails and IM chats.  Discussions in the Partner Forum and on developerWorks.  Reading, commenting, and writing blogs.  Googling.  
Now, is this the formula for everyone?  Of course not.  

IBM doesn't need every one of its employees to be spending time on external connections -- it doesn't make sense.  But are there a key group of people who can make better decisions, provide more informed information, and improve customer relationships by doing so?  Absolutely.  For example, how likely is it that the Lotusphere content team is going to be the first to spot SearchDomino's latest poll (can't directly link there, just to go the main page and scroll down)?  Not real likely -- but I let them know about it.  That data might be useful in decision-making (though perhaps a bit too late for 2005, we'll see).  Great way to interact with the market.

Sometimes I feel guilty pitching this "e-office" model that we use at IBM to other organizations.  I know there are still plenty of you who work in office environments, with traditional work hours, and are just as successful if not moreso.  Thus, the question is really, how does a virtual organization win?  By taking advantage of their tools.  In IBM's case, that's products like Lotus Notes, instant messaging, teamrooms, portals, and mobile devices.  It allows IBM to be responsive, adaptive, and focused. After four+ years of working this way, I can't really imagine what I'd do if I had to return to a traditional work environment.  May not matter, though, because "the nature of work is changing."

[With thanks to a blog reader for prompting me to clarify my thoughts]

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