Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Keywords: Teleworking, Motivation, Careers
Teleworking, telecommuting, telecottaging ... whatever you call it, it is the new working trend - but one that is sure to outlast most other management "fads". The benefits are widely documented and many organisations are attempting to respond to both the demand from employees and the cost-benefits that teleworking brings. If you are struggling to respond to this trend, want to instigate a scheme but don't know where to start, are worried about managing at a distance, want to know how to select potential employees for teleworking or just want more information about this new pattern of working, then European Telework Online is the site for you.
This site, which is updated monthly, has a homepage so crammed with links that it is difficult to know where to start. Topics include recent news items, events, resources, FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and discussions. I spent about an hour scrolling through some of these pages and have uncovered some of the more interesting and helpful ones. For instance, one page is devoted to the question of whether or not there is a "right" personality profile for teleworkers. The answer? "Personality is a factor, not the factor". However, in reaching this conclusion, the page takes the reader through several pertinent arguments and outlines aspects of the psychological profile of the successful teleworker (self-discipline etc.). The site emphasises the importance of the combination of task, organisational context and domestic setting when considering employees who may be suitable for telework.
Another vital page on this site is "how to introduce teleworking". Although the author of this site has focused on a university setting, the advice given is equally relevant to all employers. For instance, a six stage management action plan is suggested which stresses the need for the setting of clear objectives, communication with staff, involvement of all service providers and their advisers, establishment of policies and procedures and evaluation of teleworking initiatives. Anyone about to implement a telework scheme would be well advised to visit this site.
All in all, European Telework Online is well worth a visit at http://www.eto.org.uk/
Wherever your workers are located, motivating them to actually produce their best is always a concern for managers. I have come across a gem of a site on my Internet travels that every manager will find beneficial. "Motivating your workers" will tell you how to do just that. There are pages and pages of valuable information, the sort that you would normally have to shell out for in some management book. The site starts off with an introduction to the area in which several key phrases, such as self-esteem, employee involvement, morale etc, are "hot-linked" to other pages devoted to each specific area. This can get a little confusing since if you were to hotlink every time you are invited to, you'd soon lose your place. My advice is to keep scrolling through the pages (at the end of each page, you can scroll directly to the next in the sequence) and eventually you will have read through all the hotlinks, but in a logical order. Following the introductory pages then, are pages devoted to "morale and the bottom line", "productivity", "measures of productivity" (a brilliant page that tells you how to calculate productivity in dollar terms), "how to improve productivity", "turnover", "causes of high turnover" and "measuring turnover". That wasn't the end of it - but it was the end of my time at the site. To do the site justice, you either need to spend at least a couple of hours scrolling, or, even better, bookmark it and keep referring back to it. And the best thing about this site? There doesn't appear to be any attempt to sell anything ...
"Motivating your workers" is at http://www.lycos.com/business/cch/guidebook.html
On a completely different note, if the words "mid-life crisis" mean anything to you, then this next site should be of interest. Set up by Consulting Psychologists Press Inc, this site attracted my attention when I was browsing the web looking for pages on personality testing. The connection, according to the authors of this site, is that, the Myers Briggs model of personality can be utilised to help understand the process of the mid-life transition that many managers find they experience at some point in their professional lives. It is this crisis that leads many professionals to question their role and occupation and for some to even give up the daily managerial grind to go and tend vineyards in the South of France (after all, who needs to worry about motivating grapes to grow?).
The Myers Briggs model assumes our personality traits are innate, but it is during the mid-life transition, that we start to really question our personality type (e.g., "am I really an extrovert?"). The mid-life crisis takes the form of five steps, say the authors, which include accommodation, separation, reintegration and individuation. Understanding these steps can help you have a smoother transition through your mid-life crisis (which can occur as early as 35) so that you are less likely to suffer the insecurities and worry of a mid-life career change.
Mid-life transition is at http://www.teamtechnology.co