There's still a huge gap between the promise of anytime, anywhere collaborative work and the technology required to make it real, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

Consider the case of Tim Bray, co-creator of XML. He's leaving Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) because he'd rather stay in Vancouver than move to California to be near company headquarters.

"Both before and after being hired, I had been asked to consider moving south. I didn't want to and politely declined. Eventually, the group I'm in politely informed me that staying remote wasn't an option," Bray wrote in a blog post announcing the change.

For his part, Bray notes the part is amicable. He also says he determined that Google's stance was correct far as its business interests go. An interesting comment, Tim says, especially when you consider the rising number of remote workers in the U.S. and around the globe. Telework says there are more than 30 million who work from home at least once per week. Of those, 3 million work exclusively from a home office.

Google's stance is also interesting in light of Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) chief Marissa Mayer's crackdown on remote workers. The implication? Distance crimps productivity, and there isn't enough sophisticated technology to bridge the gap. Tim says that's a huge opportunity for every maker of productivity software. Yet it's Google and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) that are battling to serve users via the cloud, which may have the most to lose.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you work at home? How do you see productivity software evolving? Please watch the video to get his full take and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.