Management Challenges in the 21st Century

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Management is defined as the process of administering and coordinating resources effectively and efficiently in an effort to achiever the goals of the organization. Managers plan, lead, organize and control. Managing in the 21st century can pose many challenges. Some of these challenges are telecommuting, globalization and diversity, and a changing legal climate. Telecommuting

Information technology is making it easier for employees to work from home. Telecommuting has several benefits for employees: reduced cost for gas, more time to focus on work, luxury of working in his or her home, and a flexible schedule. Theses potential benefits sound great, but do they ultimately benefit a company? It is harder to manage employees in different locations and to track their productivity. A possible side effect to telecommuting may be that telecommuters may not bond with the non-telecommuting employees. Furthermore, employees who do not or may not telecommute may become jealous of those who do.

According to a survey by Mitel (2007), a leading provider of communications, nearly 65% of U.S. workers telecommute at least once a week and 40% telecommute full-time. The same survey reported 4 out of 10 companies in the U.S. encourage telecommuting. However, while employees feel telecommuting saves time and increases productivity, 54% of employers are worried about monitoring employee productivity. (Mitel, 2007)

Not every employee is cut out for telecommuting. Employees that are good candidates for telecommuting are those who are well-organized, good time managers, and self-motivated. Managers can use telecommuting effectively by extending the offer to employees who have these traits and whose work can be done with minimum oversight.

Managers should allow potential telecommuters to telecommute on a trial basis (one or two days a week) to evaluate whether the arrangement suits both the employee and the work. The employee should be...
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