Working Anywhere Management Opportunities and Challenges

Working Anywhere Management Opportunities and Challenges

Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4159-3.ch001
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This chapter examines the literature relating to information and communications technology (ICT) and opportunities and barriers relating to anywhere working. The workforce is becoming more global, and workers can work from anywhere and still be connected with colleagues and collaborators. Although ICT is an enabler of anywhere working, sustainable anywhere working requires specific management skills and capabilities. Globalization of work requires organizations to manage workers ranging from full-time employees through to freelancers working in different locations including a central office, co-working center, from home, and other flexible options. The chapter concludes by proposing a research agenda and conceptual framework to identify the management skills and capabilities required to successfully manage anywhere working (other terms include telework and telecommuting). The proposed conceptual framework will inform researchers and managers on best practice for adopting sustainable anywhere working to achieve strategic business objectives.
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The academic and practitioner literature has been examining anywhere working (other terms include telework, telecommuting, remote working) since the 1970s (Nilles, 1975, Hunton, 2010, Blount, 2015). The earlier literature in the 1970s and 1980s also used terms such as working from home, homework, the electronic cottage, Telecottage and telecenter (Nilles, 1975, Bibby, 1995, Toffler, 1980). More recent literature used terms such as virtual worker, virtual teams (Westfall, 2004), home-anchored worker (Wilks and Billsberry, 2007) and flexible work (Papalexandris & Kramar, 1997).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Flexible Work: Arrangements such as telecommuting, co-working spaces, virtual teams, freelancing and online talent platforms are transcending the physical location of the office.

Business Continuity Management: Is defined as the capability of the organization to continue the delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident (Source: ISO 22301:2012).

Media Richness Theory: A framework used to describe a communication media's capacity to reproduce information without loss or distortion. Communication media have varying capacities for resolving ambiguity, negotiating varying interpretations, and facilitating understanding. For example, the online text is less 'rich' than video chat.

Socio-Technical Systems Theory: A way of explaining the reciprocal interrelationship or fit between the technical subsystem and the social subsystems in organizations.

ICT: An overarching term that includes communication devices or applications. ICT includes radio, television, mobile phones, computer and network hardware and software and satellite systems. ICT also includes the services and applications such as smart apps and videoconferencing.

Telework/Telecommuting: Distant or remote work using information and communications technologies, usually from home or from another location such as a satellite office.

Competitive advantage: A term coined by Michael Porter that means an advantage over competitors measured by profits that exceed the average for the industry. This advantage could take the form of a cost advantage (for example, producing goods at a lower cost because of streamlined business processes) or differentiation (for example, excellent customer service).

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