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Managing telework: risks, fears and rules

Pasi Pyöriä (Department of Social Research, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 29 March 2011

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to serve as a reminder that all work arrangements, including the present case of distributed work, have their costs and benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

In addition to a literature review, the paper presents concrete recommendations and guidelines for practicing managers about how to avoid pitfalls in distributed work arrangements and how to manage teleworkers.

Findings

The diffusion of telework has been a slower process than anticipated, among other reasons because the most vital businesses are largely concentrated in the biggest growth centres. Growth centres can offer a diverse range of both jobs and amenities that outweigh the quiet and safety of rural areas. Apart from geographical realities and regional policy issues, another factor that has decisively contributed to the slow diffusion of telework is the absence of an established contractual framework and “culture” of teleworking.

Originality/value

Telework has the best prospects of success if from the outset all the people involved know what to expect and are prepared to deal with any problems and fears associated with the new work culture. It is also important that distributed work arrangements are designed in compliance with national labour legislation. To avoid potential risks, a part‐time telework arrangement is advisable for most organizations.

Keywords

Citation

Pyöriä, P. (2011), "Managing telework: risks, fears and rules", Management Research Review, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 386-399. https://doi.org/10.1108/01409171111117843

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited