Home Alone: The Role of Technology in Telecommuting

Home Alone: The Role of Technology in Telecommuting

E. Baker (University of Technology, Australia) and G. C. Avery (Macquarie University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-945-8.ch127
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Abstract

While technology enables home-based telecommuting (HBT), it also has been blamed for its slow growth. Thus, technology may both facilitate and hinder HBT. In order to clarify the role that technology currently plays when employees telecommute, this study investigated the relationship between different forms of organizational support (classified as technology-related, somewhat technology-related, and nontechnological) and employees’ reactions to HBT. Dependent variables included satisfaction, Perceived Productivity, and number of days/weeks spent telecommuting. Respondents were 50 full-time employees from 20 organizations. Two technology-related support variables and manager’s trust (a nontechnological support) had a broad impact on employees’ reactions to HBT. So, technology plays a crucial role and, thus, could be a major factor in HBT’s slow growth, but HBT is better understood within a multi-factor rather than a single-factor framework. Results also indicate that organizations should emphasize providing IT support and appropriate technology for telecommuters as well as HBT-related training for nontelecommuting coworkers and managers.

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