Successfully implementing telework

N°276b – Synopsis (8p.) – Hybrid Management
Successfully implementing telework
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Remote work presents clear benefits for both staff members and employers. But this organizational model presents many challenges for managers. How can you adapt your style of management to really take advantage of remote work?

Recent transformations to the ways in which we work have led an increasing number of professionals to work from home, whether occasionally or regularly. Indeed, telework offers many advantages: reduced commute times and fatigue, quieter working environments, fewer interruptions, etc. Generally, both the employee and his/her employer find it rewarding. A study by Nicholas Bloom and James Liang, published by the Harvard Business Review in 2014, shows that teleworkers from the Chinese travel site Ctrip display a 13% higher level of productivity than their colleagues in the office, are more motivated and generate fewer costs for the company. So, it is not surprising that telework has found ardent supporters, who consider it to be the ideal solution for issues relating to well-being at work, to the balance between our personal and professional lives, to the control of overhead costs, and even to the saturation of transport systems.

Yet, if telework is developing rapidly, it is also generating some reservations. Some employees are wary of it, being concerned about having difficulties with motivation or coordinating with their colleagues, or even about being sidelined if they do not participate sufficiently in the informal life of the office. On top of all this, many managers believe it brings significant constraints to the management of their teams.

Indeed, supervising remote workers is demanding. Many essential managerial tasks are complicated by distance. Guiding the efforts of an employee or ensuring the cohesion of the team are more complex tasks when those involved don’t meet, or do so infrequently. Moreover, spotting in a timely manner the initial signs of a problem or giving the right feedback at the right time is sometimes a challenge. Yes, these inevitable difficulties are not always anticipated. And, when poorly managed, they can have a notable impact on performance and motivation.

Successfully implementing telework demands that managers adapt their practices to take distance into consideration. It is only on this condition that telecommuting can hold true to its promise of a “win-win” work organization.

In this synopsis:
- Giving remote feedback
- Adusting management practices to telework specificities
- Which collaborative tools for productive remote exchanges?

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