Rivermate | Product owner - Andrew Simon

Global Work Glossary

What is teleworking and its impact on work arrangements?

Telework, often used interchangeably with telecommuting, describes a work arrangement where employees conduct business off-site with the aid of technology. Here's a comprehensive overview of telework:

  1. Definition: Telework allows employees to work remotely from a location outside the central worksite, such as their home, a co-working space, or another decentralized location. It can be carried out on a full-time, part-time, or contractual basis, depending on the company's remote work policy.
  2. Technology: Teleworkers stay connected with their team and carry out their work responsibilities through technological tools such as email, online chat, video conferencing, and project management software. These tools facilitate real-time communication and collaboration despite physical distance.
  3. Popularity: Teleworking gained popularity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, as companies adapted their policies to include remote work options for better work-life balance and flexibility.
  4. Distinction from Telecommuting: While telework and telecommuting both involve remote work, telework emphasizes working from an alternative location, while telecommuting focuses more on using technology to complete job tasks.
  5. Fields Suitable for Teleworking: Various professions are conducive to telework, including copywriters, editors, travel agents, software engineers, web developers, graphic designers, and virtual assistants. These roles often involve tasks that can be completed remotely with the help of technology.
  6. Benefits of Teleworking: Telework offers numerous benefits for both companies and individuals, including increased productivity, cost savings for both businesses and employees, improved work-life balance, enhanced accessibility, and boosted job satisfaction.
  7. Challenges of Teleworking: Despite its benefits, teleworking presents challenges such as increased security risks, lower employee engagement, communication obstacles, technology-related issues, and mismanaged expectations. However, these challenges can be addressed through proper management and the use of appropriate tools and technologies.
  8. Tips for Successful Teleworking: To ensure a successful telework arrangement, businesses should set clear expectations, establish communication guidelines, invest in suitable technology, communicate regularly, foster effective teamwork, and provide IT support for consistent connectivity.
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