Managing Invisible Employees: How To Meet the Telecommuting Challenge Kathleen chrktensen Telecommuting, the substitution of the computer for the commute, has generated a great deal of interest in the business community over the last several years. Articles about employees who work away from centralized offices, typically in their homes, describe the diverse circumstances for telecommuters. Some of the images are exotic, such as the executive who lives in the Rockies, while working at her Chicago-based office; others more mundane, such as the manager who works at home two days a week and drives in the other three. However, the number of firms with formal telecommuting programs remains relatively small; in a 1989 study that I did for The Conference Board, only twenty-nine of 521 of the nation’s largest firms offered telecommuting.’ One of the reasons for this limited use of telecommuting is readily apparent. Telecommuters are invisible employees, working in corporate cultures that value visibility. When employees telecommute, they become “invisible” anywhere from one to five days a week. The fearful manager asks, “If I can’t see them, how do I know that they are working?” A flippant response could be, “How do you know they are working, even
Employment Relations Today – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1992
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