Critical Success Factors in Developing Teleworking Programs

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Critical success factors in developing teleworking programs Kellyann Berube Kowalski
DepartmentofManagement,CharltonCollegeofBusiness,Universityof MassachusettsDartmouth,NorthDartmouth,Massachusetts,USA,and

Jennifer Ann Swanson
DepartmentofBusinessAdministration,StonehillCollege,NorthEaston,Massachusetts,USA Abstract
Purpose– To provide a framework of critical success factors for practioners and employers looking to develop new or enhance existing telework programs.
Design/methodology/approach– This paper focuses on benchmarking the remote work

arrangement of telecommuting. The issues of teleworking, including the benefits and challenges of such arrangements, are presented and reviewed. Based on a review of the teleworking literature, the authors have developed a framework that specifies the critical success factors that are instrumental in implementing or improving a teleworking program. Findings– The authors put forward a framework of the critical success factors including support, communication, and trust that are instrumental in developing telework programs. In order to address both macro and micro levels of analysis, the framework outlines critical success factors at the organizational, managerial, and employee level. Practicalimplications– In the information age, with rapid advances in technology and telecommunication systems, a teleworking program is not only a possibility, but also a smart strategic business decision. This paper provides a useful framework for organizations to employ when developing new or enhancing existing telework arrangements. Originality/value– By focusing on benchmarking the teleworking process, this paper provides a new and structured approach in the development of telework programs. KeywordsBenchmarking, Teleworking, Critical success factors, Work design PapertypeResearch paper

Benchmarking has become a prevalent tool used by organizations to determine how they are doing in comparison to other organizations and how to improve operations. It started in the area of manufacturing, but has become more widespread (Doerfel and Ruben, 2002; Greengard, 1995). In fact, benchmarking has been used in small and large, public and private and profit and nonprofit organizations (Spendolini etal., 1999). In addition to its penetration into all types of organizations, it has been used to examine all functional areas within an organization, including human resources (HR). More and more companies are using benchmarking to assess their HR practices, allowing them to learn the best way to carry out the HR function (Greengard, 1995). In fact, HR professionals are discovering that benchmarking is not only useful, but also necessary to stay competitive in today’s business world (Greengard, 1995). As noted by Greengard (1995, p. 64), “rapidly advancing technology, new ways of tackling work and leading-edge management approaches translate into a far greater need to understand the people side of business and to align HR with company goals”. One aspect of HR that is crucial in order to stay competitive is the ability to attract the most qualified employees (Mahoney, 2000). As benchmarking is becoming more prevalent in the area of HR, studies are becoming available that allow companies to compare their performance to that of other companies. Mahoney argues that benchmarking compensation and benefits is important, but that it takes more to attract and retain the best possible talent. He suggests that companies should be benchmarking other HR issues because other things, such as flextime and daycare, attract employees. In the information age, in which today’s companies are competing, teleworking is an HR option that companies are finding is worthy of consideration. As teleworking becomes more prevalent in organizations, and more and more organizations are implementing or considering implementing programs, it is becoming an area of HR in need of benchmarking. Yet there have not been any studies done or...
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