http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.16Change: 0.01
R/$ = 10.53Change: 0.00
Au 1295.49 $/ozChange: 4.74
Pt 1474.00 $/ozChange: 4.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Sep 10, 1999

‘Virtually retired’ but still productive

Back
Cape Town|Johannesburg|London|Water|Houghton Shack|Khayalitsha Shack|Water
|Water||Water
cape-town|johannesburg|london|water-company|houghton-shack|khayalitsha-shack|water
© Reuse this The invention of the typewriter enabled women to swap the drudgery of the kitchen for the drudgery of the office.

The invention of the computer, and its sibling, the cellphone, has enabled all of us to leave the drudgery of the office once and for all.

I took advantage of the new work paradigm about five years ago. Why should we rent vastly expensive offices in Sandton, hack our way through the traffic each morning, and hack back in the evening, to houses which had been empty most of the day? Once I had posed the question, there was a simple answer. Take up some of the rooms abandoned by children who had fled the nest, and cut the overheads. Late last year I took the process a step further. Why should we live in Johannesburg when most of our family was elsewhere? Families are important in our lives, and it’s nice to be near them.

The arithmetic was simple. Johannesburg held one son in thrall; Cape Town a son, a daughter, a sister, a sister-in-law, and a mother-in-law; and London a son and a daughter.

By active marketing we sold the Houghton shack; a feat which caused our friends to check our feet – “can you also walk on water?”, as one inquired – and, armed with fistfuls of money, set off for the Cape.

Reality came soon. Yes, house prices in the Cape had dropped. All that meant was that we could now afford something more than a Khayalitsha shack. With chagrin we rented a little house and moved from ‘active marketing’ to ‘active purchasing’.

Well, nine months after abandoning Johannesburg we shall finally move into a Cape Town house of our own. In the interim, work has continued as before. The ‘virtual office’ gives you the freedom to be anywhere in the world.

In spite of that freedom, it has been difficult to explain that you have not retired to the coast. So many of my friends assume that anyone living in sight of the sea has nothing better to do than sit and watch it. In vain do I explain that the virtual office is a reality, and that work continues as before. Our clients are happy, they get what they want, on time and within budget. It’s everyone else, all those who are not directly involved with what we do, for whom anything, other than an 011 area code, spells retirement.

And, indeed, it is a very interesting question.

If retirement means no longer going to an office, is it possible to retire from a virtual office? Don’t you retire when you set up a virtual office? The typewriter may have changed the world the way it did, but it seems probable that the computer will have a greater impact.

It will enable us to swap the drudgery of retirement for something more useful to ourselves and to society. You will only retire when you are tired of doing the things you enjoy. Clearly, accountants will retire early.

Doesn’t it make you happy to be an engineer?
Edited by: System Author
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other ICT News
TONY SMALLWOOD New technology is ultimately heading towards creating communication between the connected car and the “smart city”
As vehicles become increasingly technologically advanced, the future of the automotive industry is shifting towards the ‘connected car’ that can communicate with external sources, such as the vehicle manufacturer, says mobile network service provider Vodacom...
Software-defined networking (SDN) is being applied at more than 30 projects in multiple industries worldwide to enable the real-time control and optimisation of data traffic on a fixed network infrastructure. These projects aim to create flexible and configurable...
Internet Protocol- (IP-) enabled network equipment will enable the creation of software-defined networks that can intelligently manage complex and converged future networks and the continuous growth of bandwidth demand. This is the view of Chinese technology giant...
More
 
 
Latest News
Updated 1 hour 29 minutes ago The Gauteng Treasury has outlined firm plans to work more closely with municipalities and local spheres of government to improve financial management, accelerate the payment of invoices and identify new sources of revenue generation, provincial MEC for Finance...
Updated 1 hour 48 minutes ago Gauteng MEC for Finance Barbara Creecy revealed in a statement on Friday that the leadership of the Gauteng Department of Finance (GDF) have acknowledged that they have been “ambivalent” about their mandate and direction, and have consequently been “more...
Mike Rossouw
Updated 2 hours 1 minute ago Eskom’s appointment of former mining executive Mike Rossouw on a one-year, extendable assignment appears to be closely associated with Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown’s appeal for “extraordinary” steps to be taken to deal with the “unsatisfactory”...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
GARYN RAPSON Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will open the door for court battles to determine who will be held liable for the remediation
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks