Top 10 Reasons Why Telework Makes Good Business Sense in the Digital Age
Call it what you choose:
telecommuting, remote work, telework, working from home, etc.
Regardless of how one labels it, the truth remains the same:
Telework works, period!
However, for remote work to be successful , employers must make sure such practices are properly applied and implemented with strict standards to ensure employee accountability, high performance and productivity.
Telework is obviously not for every employee. It all depends on the job at hand. First , an employee must be qualified, eligible, ready, willing and able to work remotely.
Second , an employee must demonstrate exemplary performance on a consistent basis whether working in or outside of the traditional office arrangement. Any employee who fails to meet these two basic standards should have their telework eligibility immediately revoked.
Although many jobs are not conducive to telework, others may be a good fit.
To wit: leveraging high-tech job tools allows qualified employees to work smarter and more effectively via the virtual workplace.
Telework also helps employees maintain the increasingly important work-life balance , which is especially beneficial for those with family and caregiver responsibilities or employees with disabilities and serious medical conditions.
That’s why more large global employers need to look at the macro picture. Today’s high-tech mobile/digital world is already an integral part of contemporary society and is fast becoming a permanent fixture of the modern-day global work culture.
So why are so many private and public sector employers still intransigent regarding telework adoption? The answer may be twofold: management resistance and entrenched bureaucracy.
Most managers may not trust their employees to work from home or other remote locations. However, micromanagement and clock watching are not workplace best practices.
Moreover, it takes time for status-quo employers to accept new ways of doing business. This is more challenging for CEOs and the C-suite when veteran managers fight innovative change in favor of antiquated work policies.
Unfortunately, too many managers have tunnel vision regarding telework.
This is based on myths, fears and stereotypes, such as the work won’t get done because employees will goof off at home (as if this never occurs in the traditional office setting).
Showing up at work is not nearly enough to make an employee a human capital asset. Moreover, many managers are afraid of relinquishing any control over those they supervise. This is because they think it will weaken their management ability and be perceived as a loss of authority and power.
However, is it asking too much for managers to give some high-performing employees the benefit of the doubt regarding telework? How about adhering to the tried and true principle of “trust but verify”?
There’s already a plethora of empirical studies and anecdotal evidence demonstrating that telework simply makes good business sense when correctly applied to targeted segments of the workforce.
Empowering High Performers
Perhaps most importantly, telework helps build trust — not lessen it — by liberating and empowering top performers to do their best work, a win-win outcome for employees and managers alike. What should matter most to employers are tangible results rather than where or when work is done.
For instance, would a manager rather have disengaged employees who may consistently “punch the clock” but are unproductive and problematic? Or teleworkers who exceed performance goals and boost productivity and profit margins? The answer is easy.
Today’s employers must adapt to the 21st century Information Age just as their predecessors successfully transitioned to more effective, efficient and productive ways of working during the Industrial Revolution and thereafter.
The high-tech Information Revolution means the
traditional brick-and-mortar workplace paradigm is undergoing a radical
shift to a virtual work environment, albeit slowly but surely.
This is primarily due to proliferation of new and evolving digital, mobile and virtual technology.
A new era means new and better ways of doing business. Employers can run away from the virtual workplace but they can’t hide forever.
Recruiting Millennial Workers
If forward-thinking companies want to remain competitive in the future global marketplace they will be compelled to embrace telework for applicable jobs. Business leaders must accept the reality that working remotely will soon be the new normal, whether they like it or not.
- It’s also a potent incentive to attract a new generation of workers.
The fact is that Millennials (Generation Y) are over 80 million strong and growing. Millennials are now the largest generation in terms of sheer numbers, according to demographers. They are entering the workforce at increasing rates and will eventually take charge of it altogether — followed by Generation Z — as Baby Boomers and Gen Xers leave the workforce.
This new generation of young innovators is fully embracing the reality that many aspects of work are inextricably linked to virtual environments.
Old-school employers who choose to reject telework do so at their peril.
What do YOU think?
- All views and opinions are those of the author only.
- All images courtesy of beBee.
- This post was first featured in hiveBlog in April 2016.