Pedro Miguel Valido Silva
Created on January 24, 2024
Ruben Santos Pedro SilvaAndré SilvaTMI PL 0921
Teleworking, also known as remote working, working remotely or home office, refers to a form of work in which employees carry out their activities outside the traditional office environment, usually from home or remote locations. This working model has become increasingly common in many organisations, driven by digital technology and the search for greater flexibility and efficiency.
There are different types of teleworking, and organisations can adopt different approaches to implement this modality. Here are some common types:Flexible or Compressed Working: Employees have the flexibility to adjust their working hours, either starting and finishing earlier or later, as long as they fulfil the total amount of hours required.Regular Home Office: Employees work predominantly from home, carrying out their tasks using electronic devices and connecting remotely to the company network. Interactions with colleagues and supervisors take place mainly through online communications.Partial teleworking: Employees alternate between working in the office and working remotely on certain days of the week or month. This allows for greater flexibility and work-life balance.Occasional teleworking: Employees have the option of working remotely occasionally, but most of their time is spent in the office. This can be implemented to deal with specific situations, such as family needs or unforeseen events.
Coworking: Instead of working from home, employees can choose coworking environments, where they share workspaces with professionals from different companies. This provides a more social working environment, although not necessarily in a corporate office.Global teleworking or full-time remote working: Employees can be located anywhere in the world, carrying out their tasks remotely. This is more common in companies that operate internationally and want to tap into global talent.Mobile teleworking: employees have the ability to work from various locations, not just from home, taking advantage of the mobility provided by mobile devices and online connectivity.The choice of the type of teleworking will depend on the specific needs of the organisation, the sector in which it operates and the functions performed by the employees.
Teleworking has experienced significant growth on a global scale, especially in recent decades, driven by digital communication technologies and the search for greater flexibility at work.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of teleworking in many sectors. However, the transition is not uniform and organisations continue to adjust their policies and practices to adapt to the constantly evolving demands.
Technology plays a crucial role in teleworking, enabling efficient communication via online platforms, real-time collaboration in tools such as Google Workspace and Slack, secure remote access to systems and data via VPNs, guaranteeing operational continuity. Advanced security solutions protect confidential data, while online training and virtual reality platforms promote professional development and immersive experiences. Monitoring tools, artificial intelligence and mobile devices facilitate the management and execution of tasks, while telemedicine and virtual recruitment platforms transform specific sectors. In short, technology is essential for the effectiveness and convenience of teleworking in various professional areas.
Teleworking, or remote working, differs from regular work in several respects. While teleworking allows employees to carry out their tasks away from the office environment, often at home, normal work takes place in a designated physical location. Teleworking offers flexible working hours, relies on online communication and provides a personalised working environment. In contrast, normal work follows a fixed schedule, favours face-to-face communication and shares a physical working environment. Supervision in teleworking is often results-based, where as in normal work, it is more face-to-face. Both forms have advantages and disadvantages, and many organisations adopt hybrid models to balance the need for flexibility and collaboration.
Telework or telecommuting laws can vary significantly from country to country. These laws may cover various aspects of telework, including:Agreements and Arrangements: Laws may define the terms and conditions under which telework arrangements can be made, including whether it requires a written agreement between the employer and the employee.Work Hours and Overtime: Regulations may address issues related to work hours, overtime, and how these are calculated for teleworkers.Health and Safety: There might be guidelines on the employer's responsibility for providing a safe and healthy work environment for teleworkers.Data Protection and Security: Regulations may specify how data, especially personal and sensitive information, should be handled in a telework setting.Compensation and Benefits: Laws may cover issues related to compensation, benefits, and any additional costs incurred by the employee while teleworking.Equipment and Expenses: Some laws may address who is responsible for providing and maintaining necessary equipment for telework and whether the employer should cover any additional expenses incurred by the employee.Right to Disconnect: Certain jurisdictions have started considering laws that give employees the right to disconnect from work-related communication outside of their regular working hours.
Flexible Working Hours: Employees often have the freedom to set their own hours, which can increase satisfaction and help with work-life balance. Saving Time and Money: The absence of a commute to the office results in savings in time and costs associated with transport and eating out. Personalised Work Environment: Employees can create a more personalised and comfortable work environment, tailored to their needs and preferences. Reduced Commuting Stress: Avoiding the stress of daily traffic or other public transport can improve workers' emotional well-being. Access to a Global Talent Pool: Companies can hire talented professionals from anywhere in the world, broadening their recruitment options. Fewer Interruptions: In some cases, working remotely can reduce the frequent interruptions common in office environments, allowing for greater focus.
Professional Isolation: The lack of face-to-face interaction can lead to professional isolation, jeopardising the sense of belonging to the team and effective communication.Communication Difficulty: Remote communication can be challenging, especially for complex discussions that could benefit from face-to-face interactions.Lack of Boundaries Between Work and Personal Life: For some, it can be difficult to establish clear boundaries between work and personal life when both take place in the same location.Dependence on Technology: Technical problems, such as internet failures or lack of access to essential tools, can hinder productivity.Difficulty Maintaining Focus: Some people may find it harder to maintain focus at home due to distractions such as household chores, family members or other elements of the environment.Challenges in Supervising and Managing Teams: For managers, it can be more challenging to supervise remote teams and ensure that deadlines and targets are met.Inequality in Access to Resources: Not all employees have equal access to technological resources and a suitable environment for teleworking, which can create disparities.
Teleworking can be a challenging transition for some people, but by adopting good practices and strategies, it is possible to make this experience more productive and balanced. Here are some tips for teleworking:
- Establish a Routine: Maintain a consistent daily routine. This includes waking up and dressing as if you were going to the office, setting working hours and breaks.
- Create a Dedicated Workspace: If possible, set aside a specific space in your home for work. This helps to separate the professional and personal environments, promoting a working mentality when you are in the designated space.
- Set Daily Goals: Set clear goals for the day. This helps maintain focus and productivity, as well as providing a sense of fulfilment when achieving these goals.
- Dress Appropriately: Dressing professionally, even if it's not necessary, can help create a work mentality and boost self-esteem.
- Maintain Regular Communication: Be in regular contact with colleagues and supervisors. Use online communication tools for meetings, updates and collaboration on projects.
- Set Work Limits: It's important to set limits to avoid overwork. Disconnect when the workday is over and avoid the temptation to continue working long hours.