Managing Telework: Contents

The following is an outline of the material in Jack Nilles' book: Managing Telework: Strategies for Managing the Virtual Workplace (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1998, ISBN 0-471-29316-4, 330 pages)




Introduction and Overview

1: Concepts of Teleworking

Principles of Decentralization

Why Decentralize?

Having Your Cake and Eating It Too

How Is It Possible?

Forms of Telecommuting

Chocolate—Home-Based Telecommuting
Vanilla—Satellite Telework Centers
Chocolate Chip—Local Telework Centers
Tutti Frutti—Combinations

But Does It Pay?

Telecommuting vs. Teleworking

2: Selecting Teleworkers>

Dissecting Jobs

Jobs as Collections of Tasks
The Simplified Selection Version
A Slightly More Complicated Version
Separating Face-to-Face and Other Locaton-Dependent Tasks from the Rest
Job Design Possibilities
Getting to the Bottom Line
The Reality Factor

Is There a Teleworker Personality?

Teleworker Traits
These May Be Better Off in the Office
Try Some and See

The Selection Procedure

Volunteers Only!
Evaluating Jobs and Work Groups
Discussing the Options
Final Selection

3: Site Location


Who Decides?
Standards for the Physical Setting
Who Pays?
Some Details on Setting up a Home Office

Telework Centers

Selection Issues
Telework Centers versus Conventional Office Environments
Organization-Operated (Satellite) Centers
Multi-client Telework Centers

4: Telework and Technology

General Rules of Technology

Reality Tests

Technology Trends


Telecommunications Networks

Wide Area Networks
Local Area Networks
The Intetrnet and Intranets



Some Remote Access Infrastructure Options

Teleworking with a central facility
Distributed facilities
Access via the Internet
Network isolation—real or virtual?

Technology to Fit the Job

Routine Data/Text Processing
General Mid-Level Information Jobs
Sales and Field Service People
Senior Executives

5: How Do You KNOW They’re Working?

The Two Halves of Telemanagement

Establishing Trust
Quality Communications

The Buyer-Seller Mentality: Setting Performance Criteria

Focusing on Product Instead of Process
The Agreement Between Managers and . . .

Meeting and Review Strategies

Why Have Meetings?
Scheduling Issues
Telemeetings and Teleconferencing
The Importance of Ongoing Feedback
Informal Communications— The Key to Productivity
Keeping Teleworkers Linked into the Office

New Employees

Career Management for Teleworkers

Spotting Problems Early

Global Teleworking

Why consider it?
Infrastructure factors
Telework forms
Cultural influences
Laws and regulations

6: Rules and Regulations

Key Issues

Allocation of Responsibility
Fair Employment Practices
Time Accounting
Sick Leave
Liability and Insurance
Putting It Together

TeleGuide: An Introduction to Telecommuting

What Is Telecommuting?
The Company Telecommuting Demonstration Project
Things You Should Know Before You Volunteer
Health and Safety for Home Telecommuters
Travel Expenses
Hours of Work
Performance and Workload Standards
Effects of Participation in the Project

7: Measuring Results

Data Sources

Beginning Telecommuting

Quality-of-Life Effects

Effectiveness Changes

Quantitative Estimates
Training Influences

Environmental Impacts

Air Pollution
Energy Consumption

Cost and Benefit Considerations

A Simplified Analysis for Test Purposes

8: Issues for Home-based Teleworkers

Designing Your Workplace

Securing Your Equipment, Materials and Supplies

Getting Down to Work

Training Yourself
Achieving the Office Frame of Mind
Clothes May Make the Difference
Getting Organized
"Leaving" the Office Exercise

Training the Household

Business Visitors
Toddler Tension

Dealing with the Neighbors and Drop-in Traffic

Living Above What You Can’t Change

Managing Yourself

New Working Relationships with Co-workers
Job (Re)design
Communicating with Your Supervisor

Feedback and Help

Technical Problems for Computer Users
Physical Support
Dealing with Personal and Household Compulsions and Relationships
Dealing with the IRS

Bailing Out

9: Training

Training Issues

But First, General Orientation

Training What?

The Book(s)
Training Face-to-Face

Training Topics and Methods

Learning to Work in the Home
Telemanagement Topics
Training Methods
Focus Groups

Management of Telework Centers

10: Getting It Together

The Preliminaries

Convincing the Executive Suite

Developing the Demonstration Plan(s)

Critical Success Criteria
The Advisory Board
Key Documents

Participant Selection

The Rest of the Hierarchy: Orientation Briefings
Formal Selection Procedures

Site Selection

How many sites and where are they?
How long?
Site redesign

Creating the Technology Infrastructure

What’s needed
Assembling the pieces
Testing, testing, testing


Review the training plan
Make or buy decision
Training sessions

Review and Evaluation

Costs and Benefits
Job Analysis and Design
What needs changing?

Rollout Strategy

11: Organization Design Impacts

The Industrial Revolution Tradition




Network organizations

Evanescent organizations

Up- Down- Under- and Right-Sizing

The flattening of organizations
The rise of micro- and mini-businesses
Get it where you can; the global economy

12: Marketing Telework Centers


The Target Markets

In general
Narrowing the focus

Site Selection

The potential telecommuters
Their employers
Available buildings
The tradeoffs

The Marketing Plan

Defining Marketing Objectives
Market Research Resources
Strategy Development

Making It Happen—Implementation Tactics

Marketing programs
Media activities
Non-media activities


Personnel costs
Production costs
Other cost factors


13: Telework Around The Globe: A peek into the future

The Flow

Telecommuting in the United States

Telecommuting versus teleworking: survey problems

The future around the world

The OECD Countries
Latin America and the Caribbean
Eastern Europe
Asia Pacific Region
South Asia
Asia Planned Economies
Africa and the Mid-East


The growth trends
The bottom line


Appendix A: Supervisor’s Telecommuting Check List

Appendix B: Telecommuter’s Agreement

Appendix C: Department Telecommuting Policies

Employee Responsibilities
Equipment and/or Software Installation
Equipment Maintenance and Repair
Work Rules
Returning to Work

Appendix D: Detailed Work Agreement

Performance Evaluation Criteria
Specific Work Objectives and Milestones
Activities to Be Performed
Anticipated Results

Appendix E: Tools for Assessing the Future

Categories of Trends and Events

Laws and Regulation
Marketplace and Competition
Organization Structure and Operations

Scenarios and Alternative Futures

Future Funnels
Scenario Development

Tools for Future Climbing

Formal Mathematical Models
Statistical Methods

Building Strategies


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