What is Telework?
Telework can be defined as work where employees work at an alternate or remote location other than the central worksite. It allows you to work from anywhere and be full-time, part-time, or temporary.
Staff may have the option to work from home, in co-working spaces, or anywhere offsite. The specific telework arrangements will depend on a company’s policies and needs. Most jobs will require essential technical equipment, while other jobs may warrant a proper home office setting.
Here are some telework-related terms you need to know:
Teleworking is a work arrangement where supervisors/employers permit employees to carry out their usual tasks away from a centralized workplace.
Teleworker is an employee who has received approval to work from anywhere other than the main office for full time, part-time, or some agreed-upon period. They can work from home or some other alternate location.
The central worksite is an employee’s central workplace or headquarters where they generally report to if they are not teleworking.
An alternate work location is any approved or designated remote location that an employee works from and manages their work.
Telecommuting is essentially the same as teleworking. Here are some examples of the various fields and positions where telework is embraced.
- Online tutor
- Travel agent
- Customer service representative
- Software engineer
- Web developer
- Virtual assistant
- Administrative assistant
Benefits of teleworking
Teleworking can be an ideal working situation for employees looking to save time and money, reduce their commute, have increased flexibility, and improve their work-life balance. All of these factors have been linked to reductions in employee turnover and improved retention rates.
Challenges of teleworking
Although telework has its benefits, it also presents a set of challenges. Some of these challenges include increased risk of security breaches, communication obstacles, lower employee engagement, technology-related problems, etc. Teleworking can also affect individuals’ perception of workplace dynamics as they may feel uninformed, unappreciated, misunderstood, or isolated.
Communication is the cornerstone of successful teleworking. Employees and managers should facilitate and maintain open lines of communication, both internally and externally. The supervisor must be proactive in informing employees of any changes in employee tasks and responsibilities.
Performance standards for teleworkers must be determined by the managers so that employees are aware of what expectations they have to meet and exceed. It should all be communicated through a contract stating clear terms and conditions.