From CEOpedia | Management online

Teleworking called also as mobile work, e-work, distance work or flexible work is an example of so-called not-typical form of employment. This term emerged from the first time in the early sixties of the 20-th century in works of an American economist-J.M.Nilles, who indicated advantages of teleworking. At the beginning of the nineties European Commission initiated investigation seeing huge potential of this kind of employment.

The most common activities in teleworking include:

Legal aspects of teleworking

Work in a form of teleworking is done regularly off the working place and it has to be evidenced by the use of Information and Communication Technology. Both an employee and an employer have a possibility to be in touch with each other.

An employer is obliged:

  • to provide a teleworker with all the necessary equipment to perform the given work
  • to cover expenses of the installation system, service, insurance and its operation

An employee is obliged to do the same tasks which concern all the workers (Article 100 k.p.). He is also bound to:

  • give all the necessary information that enables to communicate by means of electronic devices
  • confirm on writing that all the rules of personal data protection and its adherence was conveyed to each worker.

Forms of teleworking

Considering the working place teleworking can be divided into:

  • home teleworking, that is done at home and during which a contact with an employer is possible with the use of a mobile phone, an email or a video talking
  • teleworking that is done outside the working place but not at employee's but in special arranged buildings, for instance the telecentre
  • mobile teleworking, that is done in places where a worker in a given moment is present
  • while travelling a teleworker is in contact with an employer by means of communications

Examples of Teleworking

  • Remote work: Remote work is the most common form of teleworking, where employees work off-site, usually from home. Examples of remote jobs include software developers, customer service reps, and web designers.
  • Virtual teams: Virtual teams are groups of people who work together remotely to complete a project or task. Examples of virtual teams include remote sales teams, marketing teams, and software development teams.
  • Flexible hours: Flexible hours is a form of teleworking where employees work when and where they want, as long as the work is completed in a timely manner. Examples of flexible hours jobs include writers, bloggers, and graphic designers.
  • Freelancing: Freelancing is a form of teleworking where a contract is negotiated between an employer and a freelancer. Examples of freelance jobs include web developers, content writers, and virtual assistants.

Advantages of Teleworking

The advantages of teleworking are numerous. It is a form of employment that allows employees to work from a remote location, such as their home or another location outside of their office. It offers a number of benefits for both employers and employees.

  • For employers, teleworking can reduce the costs associated with office space and equipment, as well as saving time in the recruitment and training of new staff. It also improves productivity, as employees can work in a more comfortable and familiar environment, without the distractions of the office.
  • For employees, teleworking offers flexibility in terms of scheduling and location. Employees can choose to work at times that suit them and in locations that are convenient for them. This can help boost morale and motivation, as well as reducing stress levels. It can also improve work-life balance, as remote workers can spend more time with their family and pursue hobbies and activities they enjoy.
  • Teleworking can also help the environment, as it reduces the need for commuting, which saves on energy and resources. It also allows businesses to access a more diverse talent pool, as it removes geographical barriers to hiring.

Limitations of Teleworking

Teleworking has its own set of limitations, which include:

  • Lack of interaction with colleagues - this can lead to difficulty in problem-solving, lower motivation and lack of social support in the workplace.
  • Technical problems - teleworking requires reliable and up-to-date technology and software, however, on-going technical support may be needed from time to time.
  • Isolation and loneliness - teleworking can be isolating and lonely, as workers may not have the same opportunities to collaborate with colleagues as they would in a traditional office setting.
  • Reduced communication - teleworking can lead to reduced communication between employees and employers, as the latter may not have the same level of visibility into the worker's progress.
  • Potential for burnout - due to the lack of boundaries between work and home life, workers can be more prone to burnout if they do not manage their workload effectively.

Other approaches related to Teleworking

In addition to the teleworking, there are other approaches related to non-typical form of employment. These include:

  • Flexible working hours - it means that employee and employer can agree on the start and end of the working day. It is beneficial for both sides, as employer can adjust the working time to the needs of the organization, and employee can choose the most convenient hours for him/her.
  • Part-time work - it is a form of employment in which employee works less than the normal working hours agreed between employer and employee. This type of employment is beneficial for students or people who want to combine work with other activities.
  • Job sharing - it is a type of employment in which two or more people share a part-time job. It is beneficial for employers, as they can access a wider pool of talent, and for employees, as it allows them to have more free time to spend with family.
  • Freelance work - it is a form of self-employment in which people offer services to multiple clients, usually on short-term basis. It is beneficial for people who want to have more control over their work and who don’t want to be tied to one employer.

In summary, teleworking is one of the forms of non-typical employment. Other forms of such employment include flexible working hours, part-time work, job sharing and freelance work. All of them offer advantages for both employers and employees.

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  • Baruch, Y. (2000). Teleworking: benefits and pitfalls as perceived by professionals and managers. New Technology, Work and Employment, 15(1), 34-49.
  • Chapman, A. J., Sheehy, N. P., Heywood, S., Dooley, B., & Collins, S. C. (1995). The organizational implications of teleworking. International review of industrial and organizational psychology, 10, 229-248.
  • Gray, M., Hudson, N., & Gordon, G. (1996). Teleworking explained. Long Range Planning, 6(29), 910.
  • Pratt, J. H. (1984). Home teleworking: A study of its pioneers. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 25(1), 1-14.

Author: Piotr Pierzchała