What should the supervisor consider when planning for efficient telework?
When analyzing our qualitative data sets, I have come across the following issues that supervisors should consider. Work processes for moving to telework need to be planned and rethought. For example, is paper transfer still required, or can it be handled electronically? What things can and cannot be done remotely?
The nature of the work and the work tasks determine whether teleworking is possible or whether the work is a hybrid model, which means working partly remotely and partly in an office or another place. Different work tasks have their own requirements, where the work can be done, and what kind of tools the work task requires. In addition to identifying the needs of work tasks, one should also consider if the task can be done in another way?
Workspaces and working conditions affect well-being and concentration. Is the workspace quiet or is there a lot of noise and distractions in the background? Can employee ergonomics be supported by loaning ergonomic chairs and large screens for a home office?
Virtual tools must be downloaded to a computer and train those tools for employees. Training is an important part where the company offers training for new tools and working practices. Employees can face a variety of challenges that require help. How well is our organization supporting teleworkers? Can employees ask questions easily and get help from support services?
Leadership in virtual work is different than face-to-face work. Virtual work emphasizes trust and self-direction. Supporting self-direction and supervisor active and high-quality communication support subordinate telework. Also, training is needed both for leaders and employees on how to structure their workdays. Intranet also has an essential role in providing access to daily knowledge.
The interaction between employees and members of other organizations has also changed to technology-mediated interaction through various applications. The supervisor also has a remarkable role in being a role model supporting communication.
Internal communication within the organization is emphasized in the teleworking mode, which helps to maintain cohesion and communicate significant issues.