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    How has telecommunications changed the work environment?

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    How has telecommunications changed the work environment?

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    The expressions "telecommuting" and "teleworking" are utilized somewhat interchangeably. "Teleworking" is perhaps a more accurate illustration of what actually occurs, however, "telecommuting" continues to be the more commonly used reference. Telecommunications is the universal term for an assortment of technologies which transmit information over distances. Though the vast majority of people associate the term telecommunications with modern-day technologies, the strict definition incorporates primitive and even ancient kinds of telecommunication.

    Historical Background

    Smoke signals were among one of the earliest kinds of telecommunication and were used as a kind of visual telegraph. Puffs of smoke were time-released by stifling a fire with a cover or blanket, then quickly removing and replacing the cover. Widely used by the American Indians, smoke signals communicated short messages over long distances, providing there was a clear line of sight. Additional forms of early telecommunications consisted of relay fires or beacons. Used primarily in combat situations, relay fires required a few men in strategic positions along a range of hilltops, with the very last man nearest to the area where troop movement was anticipated. When the opposing army was spotted in the distance, the first man would light a bonfire. This fire could be seen by the next man in the relay, who would in turn light his own bonfire, and so the fires were lit in sequence, producing an effective telecommunications signal which traveled back over several miles in a comparatively brief period of time, signaling that the opponent was en-route. The arrangement of a ship's flags was other form of telecommunication used to communicate information.

    During the 19th century, telecommunications technologies became more sophisticated with the introduction of electricity, paving the way for the telegraph, Morse code, signal lamps and the heliograph -- a ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution discusses how telecommunications has changed the work environment.