Teleworking requires businesses to update their thinking
Businesses need to shift their thinking from controlling the way employees work to enabling new working practices that will free them to be more productive, according to Tomasz Klekowski, Director Business GTM EMEA at Intel Corporation.
In the past, many companies went down the route of control. They restricted employee access to particular web pages and social media. They used monitoring software extensively. Combined with strong behaviour policies, this approach has worked relatively well. But the times are changing, says Klekowski.
Today’s employees bring their own phones into work. They access the sites they want to, using 3G. What’s more, trying to control today’s workers demotivates them, Klekowski argues. And attempting to force people to live differently is impossible!
It no longer makes sense for companies to control and manage activities. There’s a new paradigm for work that involves BYOD and CYOD. Here is what it looks like, taking the younger generation as an example.
Technology-fluent people, particularly Generation Y, reach for their phone first thing in the morning. They check their emails and answer them. They spend time in their social networks. This is the moment they start working, says Klekowski.
During the day they interact with technology in a non-static way, which means the seven or eight hours they are ‘at work’ they are more interactive than they used to be.
Their interactions are ad-hoc: they write instant messages and Tweets, and answer posts – all concurrently. But they also talk to friends, do online banking etc. They are interconnected.
Work is happening, but irregularly and in a more focused and productive way, comments Klekowski.
It poses challenges for business managers, who need to learn to manage the outcomes of work, rather than focus on the time factor. They have to put in place a different management structure.
So, in summary, says Klekowski, society is changing, and so are employees. They are consuming and using technology in a different way and it’s impacting how they work.
Companies can try to force a working style onto their employees, hoping they will get used to it.
Or, alternatively, they have an opportunity to understand the new ways in which people are working, and ensure they support more flexible working. The result is a win-win for both businesses and employees.
How can you support your flexible workforce better?
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