Term Paper: Virtural Offices Virtual Offices Technology

Pages: 4 (1415 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Some districts restrict the number of hours people can commute each day, so many people may have little choice other than to set up shop in their homes or at a suite that will reduce their commuting time. Another benefit of telecommuting and virtual offices is that employers are able to hire a stellar candidate despite the fact that he or she may live too far to commute everyday. The most commonly stated advantage, however, is increased productivity. People who work from home or neighborhood telework centers are 10 to 20% more productive than when they work in the office, according to Miller Associates, a market research firm in Ithaca, New York. "One of the main reasons people want to telecommute is they are frustrated with not being able to get done what they need to do in the office," says Gil Gordon of Telecommuting Review, a newsletter for employers.

Disadvantages

Telecommuting is not for everyone. Not all people can successfully set up and run a virtual office with the same efficiency that can be achieved in a traditional office environment. People must be able to manage themselves, meet deadlines and remain responsible for the same duties as if they were in a traditional office setting. Some people who work from home may have trouble differentiating between their workspace and their home space. These types of overlapping boundaries can cause problems that may negatively affect productivity. Those working from virtual offices need to be self-motivated, one on one contact is often rare and while email, fax and courier may be able to transport documents and information fairly easily and quickly feedback and other communication often may be not as effective as in a traditional setting. Those who "hotel" may feel they have no sense of belonging because they do not have a fixed space each time they go to work they may have different cubicle, which can become frustrating. Workers who are fully mobile may share the same disenfranchisement as workers who hotel. Without a direct report to see face-to-face on a daily basis, some people may become relaxed and lazy and not adhere to the same set of rules as if they are in a traditional work environment.

Management Issues

Some managers' feel that virtual offices lessen the amount of control they have over their employee's since they cannot see them managers may feel as if they cannot adequately supervise. Whether an employee is working from home, in a hotel or on a plane enroute from Zurich to London, management still has little control over what employees do; they know what is supposed to be done. Managers find it difficult to monitor and provide feedback on an employee that you don't see. Another disadvantage is that companies have a difficult time maintaining corporate culture among employees they don't see everyday. The ties that bind employees together are embedded in those things that require to face-to-face interaction, how can management assimilate employees if they are not physically accessible? Information flow is also somewhat hindered if a person is not physically present at the office. While phone, fax, email and other methods are readily available and easy to use there are some documents that are immobile making it very difficult for management to get this information to the employee.

Virtual offices have created a new set of benefits and drawbacks for managers today. If used effectively virtual offices can greatly benefits participating companies. Companies looking to incorporate telecommuters should follow Thomas Davenport's advice in his article Two Cheers for Virtual Offices he stated, "successful virtual offices require radical new approaches to evaluating, educating, organizing, and informing workers.

Works Cited

Alexander, George. (1999). Is telecommuting right for you? Black Enterprise Magazine, 4, 35.

Davenport, Thomas. (1998). Two Cheers for Virtual Offices. Sloan Management Review. Retrieved on November 17, 2002 from web site http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m4385/n4_v39/21061099/p1/article.jhtml?term=virtual+office

York, Thomas. Telecommuting causes, solves problems. Retrieved from web site: http://www.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9906/02/telecommute.idg/

Yudkowsky Chaim. (29 August 1997). Space invaders: Pros, cons of virtual offices. Orlando Business Journal.

Davenport, Thomas. "Two Cheers for the Virtual Office." Sloan Management Review. Summer 1998.

Alexander, George. "Is telecommuting right for you?" Black Enterprise Magazine. July 1999 [END OF PREVIEW]

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