Telecommuting is a tool that is becoming more and more a way a life for organizations as they strive to recruit and retain employees and assist them in improving their quality of life. The recurring themes tended to be the need to select the proper employee, training managers to manage remote employees, strong communication (formal/informal) strategies, clear expectations and proactive stance in deterring isolation. Telecommuting is not for everyone or every organization. Extreme care must be taken in preparation; development, implementation and ongoing evaluation must take place to ensure that it is not only a good fit for the employee but also for the organization. Safeguards must be in place to promote the human moment at work that may be lost when there is lack of face-to-face contact with fellow workers. Efforts should be made by management to promote professional development via regularly scheduled meetings with fellow workers, management, and customers.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Telecenter: Telecenters are work environments that centralize telecommuting employees and employers. These environments include sharing office space, compressed work week, working at a satellite center, and establishing a mobile or virtual office through laptop computers or other technology.
Toxic Worry: Toxic worry, as suggested by Hallowell (1999) , refers to the widespread result one-way communication methods. A lack of the nuances of personal communication such as facial expression, tone of voice, and body language result in people filling in their own conclusions, which could be either correct or incorrect. This may result is worry that prevents workers from completing their tasks in the most productive manner.
Human Moment: The missing element of face-to-face communication in the newer forms of communications, especially voicemail and e-mail, has proliferated. The missing face-to-face communication contributes to loneliness and isolation in the workplace and also to the misunderstanding and the percolation of anxiety. In the extreme, trust and respect deteriorate resulting in a dysfunctional organization and decreased competitive advantage. The term, human moment, refers to face-to-face communication that is real, authentic, and involves the total communication of language; includes boy motion and emotional response.
Remote Environments: Remote or other offsite, nontraditional work environments are rapidly emerging as a preference for productive work environments for both employers and employees.
Telecommuting: Telecommuting refers to the actual practice of converting a worker’s desire to complete their work from their home or other non-office environments, since it usually offers flexibility and reduces commuting costs and hassles. In addition, it allows the opportunity for workers to helping their balance work and their personal life obligations.