Teleworking and its effectiveness on Work-Life Balance

Term Paper, 2011

19 Pages, Grade: A



In the recent past Telework which is a flexible way of working has attracted a huge deal of discussion because of its complex implications on people organizations as well as the society to be able to work at anyplace and at any time. Though, at the moment is no a common accepted description for telework, (Hartig, 2007). O’Mahony & Barley (1999) describe telework as a working by the use of information and communication technologies to facilitate employees and their managers to access their work from distant locations.  Though there has been a substantial increase of teleworkers starting from the 1990s, the dispersion of telework has not developed as it was expected. This is unexpected since latest advancement in ICT has considerable decrease the management and coordination expenses that are related with the geographic dispersion of the workforce’s position. Several experts assert that adopting telework is directed by others factors and that are not necessarily technological. While other experts like O’Mahony & Barley (1999 suggest that when analyzing telework, cultural social and even political actors should not be ignored. Hartig (2007) established that worker independence was more crucial compared to technological factor to successful implement telework. This research paper seeks to find study teleworking and its effectiveness on Work-Life Balance among employees in an organization. The research paper will review past studies carried out on this subject into order to answer the subject

A number of recent tendencies in the recent past have focused extra attention on teleworking. One, there is an increasing trend of achieving an improved work-life balance from teleworking (e.g. Hartig, 2007), Golden et al (2006) general the possibility of achieving improved work-life balance in all regions may not be realized soon Hartig, 2007). Two, there is growing evidence that offering telework results in improved performance of the organization and the teleworker, and it also reduces cases of absenteeism (Stavrou 2005). At the same time is possible that teleworking could help in countries with labor shortage by enabling more women who have younger children to get back to the labor market and be employed as teleworker. At the same time teleworking is can much more attractive to those workers who have elder care duties or men who what to be involved in home based career activities. But, in spite of apparent benefits of teleworking for both the employee and the organization, a number of shortcomings arise from such an arrangement O’Mahony & Barley (1999), since effective implementation of teleworking presents major challenge to the HRM,

Figure 1: Theoretical framework for the outcomes of teleworking

The three theoretical themes summed up below plays a significant role as a mechanism used to intervene in the theoretical structure of teleworking.

Source:  Gajendran, S and Harrison, D (2007) pg.1526

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Employers feel that telework is more beneficial to employees than to the organization (O’Mahony & Barley, 1999). For instance, employees see the benefits associated to telework like saved time that would have been used when going to work and reduced pressure or stress. But, these benefits from the employees viewpoint may not be basically be converted into financial benefits for the organization. Among the most significant possible financial gain that an organization can benefit from telework is decrease in rental payments, this can be archived through introduction of smaller offices where employees can share working desks. Gajendran and Harrison (2007) established if an organization takes smaller offices and at the same time recompenses employees through rewarding team achievement, then it will highly benefit from telework. At the same time the established that teleworkers are usually ready to accept a smaller office since they are more open-minded, though the other workers seemed unwilling to accept smaller offices O’Mahony & Barley (1999).

Duxbury et al (1992) observes that teleworkers are able to save emotional energy as well as time by not commuting; this gives them higher flexibility to easily reallocate time some other activities they want to engage in such as spending time with their families, leisure activities and other needs. In accordance to social exchange theory, those workers who consider as being compelled to their organization show a greater dedication Duxbury et al (1992) Thus; teleworkers are likely to respond with better organizational dedication due to their flexible time which allows them to meet personal need s and family requirement (Duxbury et al (1992); Golden, 2006). However, whether persons can entirely gain from telework flexibility schedule is will depend mostly on the manner in which the person performs their tasks that they are assign to perform.

In his study on teleworkers Steward (2000) established that, participants in the study gave time flexibility factor as the most important reason of teleworking, in deed it was ranked the highest.  However the timetables indicated that telework failed to provide chances for flexible time usage, since social as well institutional traditions together with the managerial restrictions maintained their powerful power. The teleworkers explained managerial opposition to use time in a flexible manner, ironically, the teleworkers were chosen owing to the fact that they were adequately independent to use their time in a flexible manner, but at the same time their were honest enough not to misuse that time.

Two aspects which are important for teleworking are trust and support, in a study carried by Duxbury et al (1992) they found that these two factors were crucial if teleworking has to succeed. Trust and support has to come from every level of the organization: the managers must have trust in their teleworkers and believe that they are performing their tasks well. At the same time, the teleworkers must also have trust in their supervisors; they have to trust that the supervisor will treat them fairly. (O’Mahony & Barley (1999) also adds that trust and better relationships are particularly important for teleworkers. These two aspects according to Hartig, (2007) are important since in teleworking there is little time to meet personally and discuss issue.  For instance in his study Golden, (et al, 2006) established that, there was a direct relationship between teleworking and job satisfaction, which is also positively affected by the extent of relationship between the supervisor and the telework. According to him if, there is warm and high quality relationship between the supervisor and the teleworkers, then there is a high satisfaction by the teleworkers.


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Teleworking and its effectiveness on Work-Life Balance
The University of Chicago
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teleworking, work-life, balance
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Silva Tony (Author), 2011, Teleworking and its effectiveness on Work-Life Balance, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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