Telework, telecommuting, remote work, virtual work, working from home, mobile work

Telework, telecommuting, remote work, virtual work, working from home, mobile work—there are many terms used to describe work that is done from an employee’s home or from another alternative worksite other than the traditional work environment. The term “telework” was first used in the 1970s and gained traction in the 1980s and 1990s, when organizations began to embrace telework, particularly federal agencies. At the time, scholars argued that telework was the wave of the future and would continue to grow exponentially in the years to come. While telework has increased, it has not grown to the extent that scholars predicted. One reason is that many myths and misconceptions about telework still persist. Another is that there is a great deal of uncertainty about how to effectively lead virtual employees and teams from a distance.

In this Discussion, you will explore myths and misconceptions of telework. You will also discuss how virtual leadership is different from face-to-face leadership and identify effective strategies to lead virtual employees and teams.

To Prepare:

  • Read this week’s Learning Resources about telework and leading virtual employees and teams.
  • Identify two myths or misconceptions about telework. Then, using the Learning Resources and any additional research you found, consider whether there is evidence to support the myths or misconceptions you identified.
  • Think about how virtual leadership differs from face-to-face leadership and the unique challenges that virtual leaders might encounter.
  • Identify two leadership strategies that you think are most useful for leading virtual employees and teams.

By Day 4

Describe two myths or misconceptions about telework, and explain whether there is evidence to support each. Then explain how virtual leadership is different from face-to-face leadership. Finally, propose two strategies for leading virtual employees and teams. Be sure that the strategies address one or more of the following issues: building relationships with followers from afar, ensuring productivity, promoting employee engagement, and increasing employee motivation.

By Day 6

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