Factors Determining the Productivity of Telecommuters and Flexworkers
Genevieve Northup, Editor, Germany, Premium Member
Being present in the workplace does not necessarily make an employee more productive. What about the productivity of employees who TELECOMMUTE?
Research indicates that being physically absent from the workplace to telecommute increases productivity when consideration is given to following factors:
Sources: Ilozor, D.B. & Ilozor, B.D. (2002). "Australian Telecommuting: Management Communication Strategies". Logistics Information Management, 15(2), 80-87.
- THE DUTIES: Telecommuting works best for “those performing low-level, repetitive work” and those with “a high degree of responsibility” (Wilson as cited in Ilozor & Ilozor, 2002, p. 80). Teleworking is beneficial for job that require reading and writing, entering data, conducting accounting functions and frequent short deadlines (Peters, den Dulk and de Ruijter, 2010, p. 523).
- THE COMMUNICATION: Employees who feel that productivity is hindered reported that they did not interact with peers as frequently, resulting in the loss of “free flow of information” (Neufeld & Yang, 2005, p. 1043). Adequate communication is necessary to maintain morale and improved productivity in employees.
- THE SUPPORT: For telecommuting programs to be successful, managers must realize that “extra effort” is required through communication, finding a balance between over- and under-managing and trusting employees in telecommuting positions (Richardson, 2010, p. 140).
Neufeld. D. & Fang, Y. (2005). "Individual, Social and Situational Determinants of Telecommuter Productivity". Information and Management, 42, 1037-1049.
Peters, P., Den Dulk, L., & De Ruijter, J. "May I Work from Home? Views of the Employment Relationship Reflected in Line Managers’ Telework Attitudes in Six Financial-sector Organizations". Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 29(5), 517-531.
Richardson, J. (2010). "Managing Flexworkers: Holding on and Letting Go". Journal of Management Development, 29(2), 137-147.
Editor: also see the earlier discussion Leading and Developing a Virtual Team.