Teleworking and Its Impact on Managers

Topics: Telecommuting, Management Pages: 10 (3142 words) Published: March 16, 2010
Teleworking and Its Impact on Managers

Telework is the alternative work management in the present day’s public and private sectors. People argue that teleworking improves employee efficiency and reduces business related expenses such as travel expenses for employees. A study reveals that managers tend to lose control over their teleworking employees. A literature review conducted through the analysis of emails, interviews and observation reveals that telework reduces the official communication between the managers and their sub-ordinates. However, on the other hand telework improves the communication between the higher level of officials and employees. It seems to increase the employee’s autonomy over their managers. The higher level managers are left absolutely clueless on the evaluation procedures. To sum it up, the importance of the manager in the employee’s profession is reduced.

Teleworking and Its Impact on Managers
The concept of telework was introduced in the 1970’s during the energy crisis that hit the world.

According to Alain Pinsonneault, “following the idea that it was possible to spare energy by limiting travels. Shifting the work was fostered rather than shifting people” (Alix, 2001).

This quote has got great significance in explaining the needs and steps required to bring down the energy consumption around the globe. There were not any serious developments and the importance was not understood until the later 90’s. With the advent of technology since then, the concept of telework also started gaining on various aspects of the industries. This was fostered by the developments made in the communication field. The method of communication exchanged envisaged a totally new experience with the innovations made and drastically decreased the cost of exchanging the data. The internet technology further encouraged the practices of communicating in a different way. With the availability of high speed internet options, the world started envisaging a whole new experience of telework practices. Roots of Telework concepts

Advocates of this type of work argue that telework had its grass roots in the European market. Until late 90s very few potential teleworkers can be identified and they can easily hand picked around the globe. The number of teleworkers (in Europe) has increased to around nine million in 1999 as compared to only a few of them in early 1990s.This figure has further increased to ten million by 2000. However researchers from European Telework Online Resources Database conclude the fact that telework is looked upon a juridical or a country-planning perspective and a manager’s role is almost negligible here. This raises several questions regarding the manager’s position and role in such kinds of works. Naturally, this leads to a communication gap between the teleworking employees and the managers. The teleworking method calls for an all new concept of evaluating the working standards and efficiencies of the employees rather than the traditional methods. The manager is forced to adopt a new role in the method of evaluation of his or her subordinates. The overall efficiency of the works is empowered but certainly the managers are required to change their management role in handling the sub-ordinates. The case of salespeople is taken as the example here. However, a March 2008 study by the independent National Science Foundation and Telework Exchange reveals that telework is a “win-win-win for managers, employees and the environment”1. Sales people are mostly associated with the telework job and it increases their autonomy in working. This team of people has to directly report to their managers regarding the business data and other business information. This certainly will have an impact in the manager-employee role. The sales management activities rarely reports to the higher officials directly but it is the role of the managers to take responsibility of the outcome...
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