Types of Companies

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Businesses come in many guises, from the lonely-sounding self-employed person and sole trader, through the SME, (the small to medium-sized enterprise), to the multinational with its hierarchy and tens of thousands of employees. But the questions about what motivates people in work are basically the same everywhere. The first question that self-employed people get asked is how they find the self-discipline to work alone and motivate themselves, with no one telling them what to do. Some companies are also looking for this self-discipline and motivation; job advertisements often talk about the need for recruits to be self-starters. Some organisations (such as advertising agencies) want to find ways of motivating their people to be ever more productive and creative. Employees and their managers in this type of organisation are relatively autonomous - they are not given exact procedures on how to meet objectives. But others (such as banks) need people who can follow rules and apply procedures. (You do not want too much creativity when cashiers are counting banknotes!) These tend to be organisations with centralised cultures - exact procedures that must be followed are imposed from above. In organisations of all kinds, the tendency is towards relatively flat structures, with only a few levels of hierarchy-this way the senior management is relatively close to the people dealing with clients. The current buzzword is flexibility. This has a number of related meanings. One type of flexibility has existed for some time in the form of flexitime or flextime, where people can choose when they work within certain limits. Then there is flexible working with some staff hot desking, particularly those who are home working, teleworking or telecommuting and who only need to come into the office occasionally. The number of teleworkers is rising fast, thanks partly to the declining cost and increasing availability of fast broadband Internet connections and mobile phones. A third type...
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