Telework describes business conducted off-site with the help of technology.
The remote location could be the employee’s home, a co-working space, or another location separate from the central worksite. Telework is conducted on a full-time, part-time or contractual basis.
The specific telework arrangement depends on the company’s remote work policy.
What is telework?
Teleworking is an arrangement that allows employees to work from a remote location, carrying out their contractual work responsibilities from a decentralized worksite.
With the help of technological tools, teleworkers maintain real-time contact with their team, despite working from an alternate workspace.
Teleworking became increasingly popular during the coronavirus pandemic as companies adjusted their policies to include working from home and flexible work schedules for better work-life balance.
While most interactions are done through email, online chat, and video conferencing, there are some instances when teleworking requires in-person activities.
Telework is often interchanged with telecommuting, and both describe remote work. While telework refers to working outside the traditional office space, telecommuting focuses more on using technology to complete a job.
Both teleworking and telecommunications work well with remote workers in the following fields;
- Copywriters and editors
- Travel agents
- Software engineers
- Web developers
- Graphic designers
- Virtual assistant
Benefits of teleworking
Teleworking benefits both companies and individuals. The work environment has a notable impact on employee productivity and job satisfaction, which is why so many managers implement a telework policy.
Consider the following benefits of teleworking as a starting point.
Teleworking allows employees to adjust their individual work arrangement to best suit them. Whether that means working from a home office, a co-working space, or even coming into the main office occasionally. This process allows employees to motivate themselves, reduce the number of distractions and better enjoy their job.
Save time and money
Teleworks saves the business money by cutting expensive overheads. For example, downsizing the office space, reducing company travel expenses, and paying for parking spots. Employees also save money on gas, eating at home, and reducing parking fees. The system also saves a lot of time that would be spent commuting, helping improve work-life balance.
Choosing a quiet, remote work location boosts productivity by removing distractions and allowing employees to focus better. In the process, working in a comfortable space improves the mood and lowers stress levels.
Once a team has established communication channels and software tools, accessibility becomes more manageable and less disruptive. For example, asynchronous communication has become more streamlined and introduces additional benefits for remote team members.
Boost job satisfaction
With added flexibility and increased comfort, employees are more motivated and productive. Improved performance and better work-life balance have a direct effect on job satisfaction. This manifests in various ways for different employees.
For example, a working mother has more time to spend with her children and family members, while an employee living with disabilities has a more comfortable workstation.
Challenges of teleworking
There’s no denying that teleworking offers many benefits, but it needs to be managed appropriately to overcome specific challenges.
Before operating as a telework center, management should address (and meet) the following challenges.
- Increased risk of security breaches
- Lower employee engagement
- Obstacles in communication
- Technology-related issues
- Mismanaged expectations
Various tools and technologies help businesses overcome these challenges by opening lines of communication and maintaining a sense of accountability.
Tips for successful teleworking
As teleworking becomes increasingly popular, businesses are implementing policies to reap the benefits.
Consider the following tips for an effective telework arrangement.
- Set clear and specific expectations, and make sure that they are understood by the whole team
- Plan ahead by establishing communication guidelines and reinforcing expectations
- Invest in software and technology to streamline communication and project management
- Communicate regularly to introduce accountability and collaboration
- Establish a virtual presence through shared calendars and communication channels
- Foster effective teamwork through virtual team-building exercises
- Establish regular check-ins to build relationships
- Get IT to support consistent and reliable connection
Adjusting to the modern world of work
Teleworking has become increasingly popular and is a preferred method of work for various industries. At Deel, we support the remote working world through our robust and comprehensive platform.
With Deel, you can hire international employees and contractors and streamline daily operations, including onboarding, payroll, and compliance.