Managing Teleworkers and Telecommuting Strategies

Managing Teleworkers and Telecommuting Strategies

Managing Teleworkers and Telecommuting Strategies

Managing Teleworkers and Telecommuting Strategies

Synopsis

Much of the research in the area of telework has been more enthusiastic and optimistic than dependable. This book presents objective descriptions and experiences of telework, instead of focusing on boosterism of proponents' theories or the unexamined skepticism of naysayers.

Excerpt

One day the word will disappear, signaling that telework has become institutionalized as “just the way we do business.” But now we are still in transition from old, tightly structured patterns for organizing work to new, more flexible patterns enabled by evolving technologies.

Telework crept into the organization as a strategy to reduce trips. Originally called telecommuting, it has been not of great moment to organizations that understandably care more about employees at work than they do about how they get to work. Yet after 20 years, although lacking dramatic growth, it has claimed notice by even the most traditional companies. Why? Because telework proved to be the opening wedge for organizational change—inevitable change due to the nature of the new digital tools, telecommunications, and the Internet. As it now demands attention from a management perspective rather than a solely transportation viewpoint, more serious consideration needs to be focused on the two-way interaction between employer and employee—particularly the unintended consequences of working remotely from one another.

As Gina Vega so aptly points out, “Telework is not an endeavor per se; rather it is the embodiment of a philosophical and humanistic movement.” in that spirit Vega probes the literature to contemplate issues that managers and workers must address if both are to succeed in the developing eWork, information age.

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