- November 9, 2021
- | 67
“Our creativity comes from spontaneous encounters and unexpected conversations,” Steve Jobs used to tell visitors at the Apple facility, decades before teleworking was introduced as almost a one-way street for many industries during the pandemic.
Coronavirus has changed the ways companies are using teleworking. Businesses and employees are called upon to adapt to a difficult and dangerous environment. They also need to ensure the continuation of their economic activity and ultimately their survival, and the employees to protect themselves and their loved ones. The adaptation enables us to use the new tools at our disposal, with teleworking being the most characteristic.
eCREDO has been hiring people since it went live (2020) living in different cities, or even in different countries, providing them with all the tools necessary, through technology, in order to work easily from home. The company continues to do so today as the work flow has not been interrupted and in many cases has benefited from this arrangement.
Although many companies like eCREDO already implement teleworking, this form of work organization is not widespread enough and according to research by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), regular teleworkers constitute 8.3% of the total number of employees in the EU, with the most extensive use in Denmark (19.8%).
According to the same research, it has been observed that the implementation of Remote Work increases productivity between 10-40% because employers require a large volume of work from employees as they work from home and do not waste time on their own transportation.
The operating costs of the company are also reduced because they do not use offices, raw materials, costs of renting a workplace or things that every contractual company is obliged to have.
Another advantage for employers is that they can better manage their businesses with more flexibility as the work is not affected by company reorganization. In addition, due to the lack of daily friction, the relations between employers and employees are improved. The company’s profits can be increased as customer service has the potential to extend beyond business days or hours at no extra cost for services.
In many cases people who live away from their place of work, teleworking can significantly reduce their traveling expenses. Employees who have their personal space as a workplace tend to fell less stressed and pressured thus become more inventive, productive and creative.
Moreover, traffic is reduced because employees do not have to move to their workplace and therefore emissions are reduced.
In addition to protecting public health in the current context, teleworking increases employment opportunities for social groups such as people with disabilities or new mothers.
To adapt to the new data of the digital economy, any government is called upon to speed up the procedures, so that the adoption of services related to the government is provided online. Companies then can invest in new information and technologies, training their employees on how they can correctly use these new technologies.
The use of teleworking requires the strengthening of the technological infrastructure of companies with special emphasis on the issue of data security. However, it is not a costly process, as modern low cost (cloud) and/or free tools (basic teleworking applications) significantly reduce customization costs.
The operation costs of teleworking applications are typically high as they include the training of employees and their managers, the creation of a corporate policy, the technological infrastructure, the organizational restructuring as well as the evaluation of the final product.
The implementation of teleworking is also likely to create difficulties in the coordination and supervision of work by supervisors, due to the fragmentation of the single workplace which weakens direct control. In addition, there is a risk of severing the links between employees and the company due to the dispersion of the workforce, which has the effect of creating obstacles to the development of a work culture.
When employees are forced to work in a common space, they easily develop social relationships and therefore become socially active members of a group, so they do not isolate themselves, which is a common phenomenon for people who work from home.
The employment of remote workers expects the risk of different treatment and processing of business operations due to reduced contact with the working environment, with a direct impact on the image of the company as perceived by the customer.
At the same time the company has to face security problems of its data. There is a risk of data loss or interception. Remote workers may have insufficient internet security in their home.
The fact that the teleworker does not have immediate technical support because they are outside the company’s premises carries the risk of losing critical data due to technical and other problems, which may not be present in backups.
The company also has to deal with issues of availability, confidentiality and prosperity of information by preventing unauthorized access and modification of data.
The possibility of teleworking carries the risk of reducing the time of paid work and extending the time of commitment of the employee, since it is possible for the employee to become imprisoned in the service of the employer on a permanent basis, given the possibility of part-time work and non-working days. Other rights of employees such as sick leave, pregnancy, vacation leave and holidays can also be violated. Finally, teleworkers face problems in their training and professional development.
Understanding each employee’s feelings, needs, and goals is the first step toward human-centered leadership. The manager demonstrates empathy and a desire to create a true win/win situation by focusing first on the person rather than the task at hand.
Furthermore, technology provides more opportunities for remote teams to connect, collaborate, and contribute – even among colleagues who may have little contact at the office.
This is an excellent time for smart managers to jump on the bandwagon and hire a remote team. Your competitors may still be hesitating, allowing you to act now and attract the best foreign talent while it is still available.