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Multifunctional Digital Centers


Telework in Amsterdam



Working in Teledock

Learning at Teledock

Experimenting at Teledock

Information Service at Teledock

Amusement at Teledock

Multifunctional Digital Centres

The development of new information and communication technology has made it possible to execute all sorts of co-operative activities from a distance. With the help of increasingly faster and mutifaceted computers and with the use of public networks like the Internet, we are nowadays capable of working and learning together from every place with a telephone connection and cable connection. We can do our work on a computer with access to the Internet without having to make the time- and energy consuming daily trip from our homes to work and back again. To learn, it is no longer necessary to go to school or university every day. When you need information, you can consult thousands of libraries and millions of documents on the Internet. When you want some entertainment, there are many things to do on the Internet. You can play a simple game, but you can also make music with people from all over the world.

A typical feature of the industrial society is that work is concentrated in time and space. Work was always concentrated in one location: the factory or the office. To be able to work, everybody had to travel, all roughly at the same time, to these places. This has led to the fact that every workday there is an enormous stream of traffic at rush hours, to transport workers from and to their workplaces. The consequences are traffic jams and the suffocating belch of exhaust fumes. These are all consequences of the principle that people have to be transported to their work, while it should be the other way around.

This principle is radically changed in the information society of today. With the help of information and communication technology the work can be brought to the people. That is what we call telework. Telework is making work flexible as to time and space. Telework is working independent of time and space, with the help of information and communication technology.


Telework in Amsterdam

Relatively seen, there are a lot of people in Amsterdam that work in professions which are suitable for telework. From all the people that constitute the labour force, almost half of their jobs are appropriate for telework.

At this moment, there are approximately 22.500 teleworkers in Amsterdam. For another 40,000 people, there is nothing that holds them back from teleworking. And there are 41,000 people that would like to telework, but their employer does not allow it.

Expectations are that in 2005-2010 there will be more than 100,000 people that telework in Amsterdam. This means that more than a third of the working population of Amsterdam wants to telework and is able to do it. Regarding the car use, there will be a total reduction of 300 million kilometres per year in 2005-2010.

A lot of people are familiar with the idea of teleworking in their own home. But telework in a telecentre - we call it "teledocking" - is for most people rather new. Many peope have never thought about trying it, because it was non-existing. However, there are a lot of advantages of working in a telecentre that is located in the area where you live. We list a few:

Thus, there are a lot of good reasons to create a network of local telecentres in Amsterdam. The policy of the city is focused on increasing its lead as centre of information and communication technology. This will only be possible when easily accessible telecentres are built everywhere in the city. The people of Amsterdam should be able to work, learn, experiment and recreate in the nearness of their homes. This will not only increase the livability of the city, it might also contribute to the reduction of the the growing gap between people who have access to modern technology, and people who are excluded from it.



TeleDock is an initiative of ABy-Teleconsulting (AByT) in cooperation with the Woningbedrijf Amsterdam (property company) and the Stichting Website Netwerk. TeleDock is a place where people from Amsterdam can work, learn, experiment, inform themselves and recreate.

TeleDock is a multifunctional centre that offers people the opportunity to:

  1. use the most modern technology for information and communication:
    • high quality-, fast computers
    • fast connections with the Internet
    • fax and telephone

  2. rent a workplace in our centre. They can use:
    • one of our comfortable workstations
    • our high quality hard- and software which gives access to:
      • Internet and Intranets from companies
      • email
      • data transfer
      • computers elsewhere
      • various databases
    • our expertise in the form of a helpdesk
    • refreshment room
    • one of our meeting rooms

  3. participate in one of our courses which are given in the centre.

  4. contribute to the multi-media experiments in the centre.

  5. use the information services of TeleDock.

  6. participate in cultural and recreative events which are organised by TeleDock.


Working in TeleDock: telework office

The primary function of TeleDock is that it will operate as a telework office. These telecentres are offices that can be used by local teleworkers. Every employee travels to the office that is most accessible to him or her. Telecentres offer office services for people that do not want to or cannot work at home, but do not want to make long trips to work and back again either.

Telework is making work flexible concerning time and space. It is working with the use of information and communication technology, independent of time and space. One can speak of telework when ICTs are being used to conduct work at a distance from the official workplace.

Telecentra are an important factor in the way many organisations make the transition to more flexible work patterns for their employees. Although there are many different types of telecentres, they mostly have two things in common:

Thus, TeleDock offers a pleasant space and excellent services to teleworkers who look for a place to work in their own neighbourhood in Amsterdam. Besides that, the centre offers room for people who want to supply Internet-related services, such as designing websites, constructing databases and developing tele-educational programs. The target groups for the teleworkcentre are employees, free-lancers, starters and entrepreneurs.


Learning at TeleDock: Tele-learn centre

The second function of TeleDock is providing educational programmes. TeleDock organises courses for employed and unemployed people who want to acquire new professional qualifications with the use of modern computers and communication equipment.

The courses of TeleDock offer a new perspective to the (long-term) unemployed people. With the help of the Internet and digital services in the centre, educational programs are offered to link this group up with future forms of employment. To reduce the distance to the labour market, suitable, career oriented courses are being offered. Due to this, and with the help of digital job vacancy department, the participants will be able to find their ways in the labour market. To realise this project, TeleDock will co-operate with the Sociale Dienst Amsterdam (welfare service), the Stichting NV Werk, ProjectNet and the Stichting Nedwerk.

Together with local educational institutions and the school advisory service TeleDock wants to create room voor a support service for pupils (Steunpunt Scholieren). Pupils can use this service to make homework and, if possible, study online. At the moment, possibilities for setting up a homework assistance service are being examined.

Educational institutions and companies can also rent a part of the telecentre for courses. Within this framework we want to give special attention to various groups like unemployed people, disabled people, pupils and also ethnic minorities, elderlies, local entrepreneurs and shopkeepers. TeleDock will invite representatives of several groupings for a dicussion on educational wishes and TeleDock's possibilities to develop programs (courses) that link up with these demands.


Experimenting at TeleDock: Tele-try-out-place

TeleDock is offering room for multimedia experiments. TeleDock stimulates activities of creative people that want to try new things and that need access to ICT-equipment. Locals are invited to submit proposals. TeleDock can only realise its innovative goals in an optimal way if its users constantly supply new ideas.


Strengthening Social Cohesion

TeleDock wants to explore the possibilities for strengthening the social cohesion in the neighbourhood with the help of modern information and communication technology. Experience shows that social cohesion can be increased by setting up joint activities, such as a newsgroup, a digital paper, a messenger service and a babysit service. In the tele-try-out-place a start can be made with a digital babysit service, in which the demand of locals for babysitters is geared to the supply of neighbours that would like to look after other people's children.


Information service at TeleDock

TeleDock considers it as its task to build a digital knowledge base in which information is stored that might be important to locals and which they can use. What we have in mind is information about:

This data will be classified in the knowledge base. A point of reference for the construction can be the already existent 'digital cities', such as Amsterdam by Bite. Mapping a digital area will simplify the acquirement of good, reliable knowledge for its inhabitants.


Amusement at TeleDock

Teledock does not only focus on serious activities such as working and learning, it also has room for enjoyable, festive activities. Using its ICT equipment, TeleDock will take initiatives that are aimed at entertaining people. Examples are: concerts of digital musicians, performance of artists using multimedial facilities, a digital gameshow. But also: debates using video conferencing, presentations of new hard- and software or new Internet techniques and websites.


Home Telework Resources Telecenters JongerenProjecten Contact Nederlands


Albert Benschop
Connie Menting

Nieuwe Jonkerstraat 16
1011 CM Amsterdam

tel: +31 (0) 6 12120759
email: info at teledock.nl
website: www.teledock.nl

© 1999 AByT


Albert Benschop

Amsterdam, 1 juni 1999
Last modified:

Not the daily trip to work,

Not the distraction from home