Organization Management Journal


Technology is enabling employees to work away from the office as teleworkers, where they experience increased flexibility to manage their work and personal lives. The last several decades have seen telework rapidly expand as a work mode, which offers both new opportunities and challenges for employees and corporations alike. This paper covers a brief overview of telework research and practice, in the hopes of providing a better understanding of this rapidly emerging form of virtual work. The paper first describes its growing popularity and the types of telework being practiced, and then reviews some key findings in prior research by examining alterations in the work–family interface, job satisfaction, and organizational identification. Present-day factors spurring telework’s growth and factors holding it back are then discussed, including issues of technology acceptance, business continuity, and carbon footprint, as well as challenges such as isolation, co-worker resentment, and managerial reluctance. The paper then briefly explores some crucial issues facing telework in the future if it is to remain a successful work practice, including knowledge sharing, individual differences, and the way organizational policies and practices are enacted. Finally, some proscriptive recommendations for managers are offered in the hopes of helping practitioners harness the potential of this form of technology-enabled virtual work.