Teleworking a Successful and Emerging Trend for Sustainable Development

Abstract

Information and Communication Technologies has revolutionized the way the organizations work and communicate with the internal teams and the external sources. It is very evident from the industry inputs that teleworking model has been an successful method for organizations towards reducing the costs on physical infrastructure and also in supporting the sustainable development. Studies emphasize the facts that organizations are able to have global virtual teams due to the successful teleworking models that could be resourceful in cost savings, retaining the quality resources, and handling complex projects in an effective manner with optimum resource utilization.

KEMPS is an information technology solutions company, that develop ecommerce solutions for its clients and globally there are many customers for KEMPS. Taking stock of growing business opportunities and the business expansions, the organization is aiming at choosing teleworking model for workforce which could support the sustainable development. Keeping in view the need of the organization to gain insight in to the pros and cons of teleworking model, this report has been developed after reviewing varied studies that has been carried out on teleworking model, to understand the challenges, risks, benefits and the overall outlook.

After due analysis, the recommendations has been made in this project report that the organization could aim at having the teleworking model, provided the adequate level of risk audit is conducted and all the strategies are devised to address the potential risks that could creep from teleworking model implementation, and can support in the sustainable development.

Table of Contents

Abstract. 2

Table of Contents. 3

1.0         Introduction. 4

2.0         Teleworking as Sustainable Development. 5

2.1         Telework Force. 5

2.2         Outlook Teleworking Model 6

2.3         Advantages of Telework force. 7

2.4         Challenges of teleworking model deployment. 7

3.0         Teleworking and its Impact on the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. 8

4.0         Conclusions. 9

5.0         Recommendations. 10

6.0         References. 10

1.0      Introduction

Information and Communication Technologies have become an integral part of the communication facilities that are being used by the current trend business entities. The kind of technological revolutions that has taken place in the communication technologies has been phenomenal and has transformed the ways people have communicate and work in the business dynamics. One of the revolutionary changes that have taken place across the globe, have created significant impact on the working cultures of the organizations. The rapid development that has been envisaged in the recent past in terms of global virtual teams and the teleworking has provided significant benefits for the organization. (Zamahani, Hasan Darvish, & et.al, 2013)

Numerous factors has influenced the organizations to take leverage of potential developments in terms of business communication and the way organizations could use the resources from the remote locations to work on projects without having to mobilize the records from different locations. Teleworking has been very effective for organizations in terms of quick work processing, attracting global workforce to organizations, handling multiple projects and complex projects at a time. With the development of information and communication technologies, the organizations could provide work from home options, remote location access, work with BYOD systems and many other features that could facilitate the organizational development and also support in terms of sustainable development for the organization, environment and the society. Also there are many other advantages like cost savings to both the employer and employee in terms of teleworking. (Fonner & Michael E. Roloff, 2012)

Despite all this factors, still there are certain issues which are prevalent in terms of complexities and hurdles with the teleworking models for the organizations. Depending on the feasibilities and the scope for work, the level and the intensity of using the teleworking models could be decided by the organizations.

KEMPS is an organization which is based in Sydney and is an ecommerce applications development firm that supports its clients in developing the ecommerce portals, and has its clients globally. In the purview of expanding their business opportunities, the company is eying at the model of teleworking mechanism, and this research review paper is developed to provide an outlook on the effectiveness of such system, how it can help in green house development, sustainable growth factor, the challenges and concerns towards implementing the practice. Also the recommendations to the management team based on the business model of the organization have been detailed in this report.

2.0      Teleworking as Sustainable Development

Every kind of development has certain kind of pros and cons, and even in the case of information and communication technologies, there have been so many factors that have been beneficial for the business dynamics and also there were many kinds of challenges that are encountered by the organizations in terms of managing the teleworking model of workforce management. In the following sections of this report, the focus is upon how KEMPS shall align themselves in to the factors associated with the telework force management and the challenges that should be curtailed by the organization towards effective telework force management. (Scarfone, Paul Hoffman , & Murugiah Souppaya , 2009)

2.1      Telework Force

Globally organizations from varied industrial verticals are embracing the model of telework force. With the rapid development of telecommunications, internet penetration and the vivid kind of IT solutions that could provide the scope for remote access to the systems, data and the process management, many organizations are eying at using the feasibility of telework force model. (Aboelmaged & Abdallah M. Elamin, 2009)

The model of telework force shall work in varied levels. In a usual practice of teleworking, the companies provide their employees the option of working from other locations rather than reaching to office daily. In such teleworking models, the organizations provide the employees with remote access to the systems, which can be accessed by the employees through internet or the other kind of network facility that is provided by the organization.

Also, for the organizations, there are many other advantages of using the teleworking model, as they shall be able to attract the global talent who are not interested in relocating to the requisite location of work. In such conditions, when the organization permits the resource for teleworking, it may be encouraging the resource to join the organization. (Caldow, 2009)

The other dynamics which is pushing the organization to choose the teleworking model is that the kind of cost benefits in terms of maintaining physical infrastructure is getting reduced to a great extent and the kind of environmental pollution that could happen due to high commuting could be reduced to significant levels. Hence the organizations prefer to opt the teleworking models. There are various dimensions from which the teleworking model has to be reviewed for fitment to the organization model. Categorically, the technical, economical, ethical and legal factors have to be considered that could facilitate the organization in having right level of teleworking system (Scarfone, Paul Hoffman , & Murugiah Souppaya , 2009)

2.2      Outlook Teleworking Model

The teleworking model has been accepted and practiced across the world by many organizations. There are various economic, legal, ethical factors that are related to the teleworking model. In the usual model of organizations workforce working in a particular office or in branches, there could be impact of the organizational culture, work policies and other factors that could be enforced to create some kind of unified approach from the team towards the development, whereas in the case of the teleworking, it could be little complex to have monitoring on the individuals working culture and ensuring that all the staff who are part of the system be in lines with the guidelines shall be critical success factor. (Blooma, James Liang, John Roberts, & Zhichun Jenny Ying, 2010)

The other key factor pertinent to teleworking model is the technical infrastructure. Unless the organizations have robust technology integration towards handling the teleworking model, it could be very challenging for the organizations towards handling such effective models. There are instances where many organizations have failed or had hurdles in terms of managing the telework force as there were many vulnerable factors like attacks on the organizational network, unauthorized access to the systems, or the lack of system policies driving towards virus attacks on the organizational network servers. Unless the organizations ensure that there is right kind of security system, and the network capacities that could keep the global teams of the organization stay connected, it could be very critical for the organizations in terms of providing effective platform for the staff towards working from remote locations. (Corpuz, 2011)

In terms of economic factors, the teleworking model could be very successful system for the organization, as the organizations always look forward to reduce the cost of operations, and by using the telework force model, the organizations could reduce the costs to be deployed on physical infrastructure like office space and the energy consumption to a great extent. This could not only save huge costs for the organization, but also support in sustainable development. Also for employees who work for the organization, it provides lot of leverage in terms of reducing the commuting time and the energy and the money that is spent on the travel. When we perceive the factors from such dimension, it is evident that the teleworking model could be a right choice for the organizations and the employees. (Davis, 2011)

When we review the legal factors that are part of the system, it can be stated that there are many cyber policies that are globally practiced and there are few cyber policies which are dependent on the local laws, hence when the organizations define the system of teleworking, there should be clearly laid down policies and guidelines that could provide feasible support for the organization in terms of enabling a better and safe teleworking model that could benefit all the stakeholders of the organizations. (Zamahani, Hasan Darvish, & et.al, 2013)

2.3      Advantages of Telework force

There are various advantages for the organization in terms of having a right kind of telework force. Depending on the size of operations and the business dynamics the organizations could leverage the potential opportunities in terms of deploying telework force. Few of the key advantages in terms of telework force are as follows:

  1. a) Organizations can save significant value of costs due to the teleworking model. As the organizations reduce the number of people who are working in the organization premises is reduced, it directly impacts the physical infrastructure requirement of the organization, and the operational costs go down drastically. (Davis & Steven Cates, 2013)
  2. b) By encouraging the teleworking model, the organization supports the pollution control, and the carbon emission that happens from the travel using various kinds of vehicles could be reduced to great extent. (Blooma, James Liang, John Roberts, & Zhichun Jenny Ying, 2010)
  3. c) In the current scenario, where the organizations globally facing the challenges of attracting the talented work force and the retention of workforce, teleworking model could be an effective option for the organization towards using the resources for effective management.
  4. d) Effective utilization of resources is one of the predominant benefits that an organization could benefit by the teleworking model. By providing the teleworking model, the organizations are able to make use of the resources from varied locations to work together on a single project. This facilitates the organizations in terms of handling multiple projects at a time. (Davis & Steven Cates, 2013)

2.4      Challenges of teleworking model deployment

Teleworking has many advantages and also has equal amount of challenges too. One of the critical issues that are encountered by the organizations is the challenges pertaining to successful implementation of teleworking model. The following are certain key challenges that are encountered by the organization.

  1. a) Data Security issues: Compared to the traditional working model, in the case of teleworking model, the data security issues are more prevalent. As the organizational network is exposed to the open network and the staff of the organization are accessing the network from external and remote locations, the exposure to cyber-attacks are possible, and unless the organizations focus on deploying right kind of cyber security measures and the firewall systems it could be very risky for handling the data security (Davis & Steven Cates, 2013)
  2. b) Team Management: Despite the fact that there are many advantages of teleworking model, the other key challenge is about the control over the team. One of the emphatic issues for the organization is to have monitoring of the employee performance and the working culture. Organizations have to redesign its monitoring and review mechanisms to ensure that there are all mechanisms in place to monitor the performance of the team members from diverse dimensions. In the case of teleworking models, in most of the scenarios, the members of the teams operate from different locations, and creating sync between the teams is a challenging issue. (Meyer, Make distance and diversity your competitive advantages)
  3. c) Developing Integrated Approach: It is very essential that there is an integrated approach in the system for an organization and in the case of teleworking model, the teams and its members operated from different locations, different time zones and the diverse range of background and cultures. It is very essential that the organizations aim at effective strategies that could facilitate the organization in terms of coordinating between the members of the teams and enabling them to have good rapport and connectivity and also in terms of creating effective work policies and standards. If the organizations fail to have such robust factors in place, it could prove very challenging for the organization to have success from the teleworking model. (Scarfone, Paul Hoffman , & Murugiah Souppaya , 2009)

In an outlook, it can be stated that the above stated factors are only few challenges pertaining to the success of an organization in terms of deploying the teleworking model, but there could be many kinds of other risks related to the legal and the ethical factors that could have significant impact on the organizational success in the teleworking model deployment. (Corpuz, 2011)

3.0      Teleworking and its Impact on the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Globally there are various organizations that are encouraging the teleworking model and one of the predominant reasons why the industry is being favored towards teleworking model is that it helps not he environmental protection indirectly. For instance, when thousands of employees avoid travelling every day to workplace and keep working from their home, or the private locations, it not only saves the time factor, but also the kind of energy consumption towards travel, like the fuel costs, carbon emissions from the vehicles and all such critical issues are handled effectively by the organizations in an effective manner. It may not be a significant proportion when very few companies opt to work on the teleworking model, but when the organizations that has the feasibility of using the teleworking models, use such effective methods, could significantly impact the level of pollution control, and it could lead to better societal and environmental conditions. (Meyer, The Four Keys To Success With Virtual Teams, 2010)

There are few industrial verticals like manufacturing sector or the automobile sector, where the leverage of teleworking may not be possible in all departments, but in certain sectors like the ITes support and the IT sectors, there are fair chances that the organizations could adapt the policies of teleworking and this could facilitate the organization in contributing to the reduction in gas emissions and the development of environmental safety. So many organizations across the world are being proactive towards environmental protection and are volunteering to have the teleworking model and get benefited even in the huge cost savings on infrastructure. (Corpuz, 2011)

4.0      Conclusions

Globally teleworking has become a reverent model for organizations, as there are many benefits which are envisaged from adapting such practice. Majorly the organizations are able to save on the hospitality and the facilities management cost and also they are able to attract the global talents to work with the organization from the remote locations, and this provides them an upper edge in terms of having potential team who could accomplish the vision of the organization. In purview with the existing systems and practices, it could be ascertained that globally teleworking has evolved as an effective model as potential solution for retaining the talent, attracting the new resources, handling multiple projects on schedule and optimum utilization of the resources available at remote locations for the organization. (Vilet, 2012)

 

There are also certain kinds of challenges that are being envisaged by the organizations in implementing the teleworking model. These challenges could be attributed to various systems and practices that are being adapted by the organization towards implementing the teleworking models. It is very essential that the implementation team does all the ground work to understand the viability, feasibility, the factors that could hinder the teleworking model implementation and based on all such significant factors, the organizations have to adapt the teleworking polices for the organization. (Blooma, James Liang, John Roberts, & Zhichun Jenny Ying, 2010)

The organizational culture plays a predominant role in the success of the project implementations and based on the business model and the process management factors, organizations should devise right kind of teleworking policies that could be adhered by the employees and also it is equally important for organizations to have right evaluation mechanisms for the performance of the team in the teleworking model. In overall it could be stated that the teleworking model from the organizations could support in the reduction of carbon emissions and can also gain significant advantages from the implementation of teleworking model. (Caldow, 2009)

Globally organizations are being very positive about the teleworking models, and despite of having some intrinsic issues that could be hurdles for the successful implementation, if effective measures are taken up to address any kind of challenges that could be encountered in the system, certainly, the organizations could make use teleworking models in the existing scenario and support towards environmental protection.

 

5.0      Recommendations

In view of the existing business scenario of the KEMPS and the laws of land taken in to consideration, it can be stated that if KEMPS can deploy the teleworking model, it could be very resourceful for the organization towards leveraging the opportunities and contribute to the societal development and also have the organizational growth. (Blooma, James Liang, John Roberts, & Zhichun Jenny Ying, 2010)

KEMPS should conduct a risk assessment activity to ensure that any potential threats like the vulnerability to the cyber-attacks, issues related to providing access to the staff from remote locations and many other such critical factors have to be analyzed to devise strategies to mitigate such risks. (Scarfone, Paul Hoffman , & Murugiah Souppaya , 2009)

KEMPS should aim at developing appropriate teleworking policies for the organization and ensure that every member of the organization adheres to the policies. It is very essential that the organization provide orientation to the staff on the teleworking model, the advantages the employees get from such a model, the policies they should adhere to whilst of working in the teleworking model with the organization. (Vilet, 2012)

 

It is recommended that the organization adapt the good global practices of teleworking model, and use such global standards in their practice of teleworking model and support in the environmental protection by reducing the carbon foot prints and the fuel energy consumption from the vehicles used by the staff for commuting.

 

6.0      References

Aboelmaged, M. G., & Abdallah M. Elamin. (2009). Teleworking in United Arab Emirates (UAE): An empirical study of influencing factors, facilitators, and inhibitors. Int. Journal of Business Science and Applied Management, 18-36.

Blooma, N., James Liang, John Roberts, & Zhichun Jenny Ying. (2010). DOES WORKING FROM HOME WORK? EVIDENCE FROM A CHINESE EXPERIMENT. Council of Economic Advisors, 1-39.

Caldow, J. (2009). Working Outside the Box: A Study of the Growing Momentum in Telework. Institute for Electronic Government, IBM Corporation, 1-14.

Corpuz, G. (2011). An empirical assessment of teleworking using the Sydney Household Travel Survey data. Australasian Transport Research Forum 2011 Proceedings . Adelaide: Bureau of Transport Statistics, Transport for NSW.

Davis, A. (2011). Telework Productivity and Effectiveness: Factors that Influence Results-Oriented Job Assessments. Eugene: University of Oregon .

Davis, R., & Steven Cates. (2013). The Dark Side of Working in a Virtual World: An Investigation of the Relationship between Workplace Isolation and Engagement among Teleworkers. Journal of Human Resource and Sustainability Studies, 9-13.

Fonner, K. L., & Michael E. Roloff. (2012). Testing the Connectivity Paradox: Linking Teleworkers’ Communication Media Use to Social Presence, Stress from Interruptions, and. Communication Monographs, 205-231.

Meyer, E. (2010, Aug 19). The Four Keys To Success With Virtual Teams. Retrieved Oct 23, 2014, from FORBES: http://www.forbes.com/2010/08/19/virtual-teams-meetings-leadership-managing-cooperation.html

Meyer, E. (n.d.). Make distance and diversity your competitive advantages. Retrieved Oct 23, 2014, from INSEAD: http://executive-education.insead.edu/managing_global_virtual_teams

Scarfone, K., Paul Hoffman , & Murugiah Souppaya . (2009). Guide to Enterprise Telework and Remote Access Security. Gaithersburg: NIST .

Vilet, J. (2012, Oct 19). The Challenge and Promise of Global Virtual Teams. Retrieved Oct 23, 2014, from TLNT: http://www.tlnt.com/2012/10/19/the-challenge-and-promise-of-global-virtual-teams/

Zamahani, M., Hasan Darvish, & et.al. (2013). Designing a teleworking organization model with a Thematic Analysis. World of Sciences Journal;, 189-198.

 

 

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