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The Benefits and Challenges of Working Virtually - Essay Example

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This paper talks about the effective management of a virtual workforce that requires an introduction of stringent measures to ensure effective collaboration between diverse teams; foster positive relationships between them and encourage innovation and leadership among the virtual workforce…
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The Benefits and Challenges of Working Virtually
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Download file to see previous pages The paper "The Benefits and Challenges of Working Virtually" talks about the continued growth of the virtual workforce, there are challenges that both managers and employees may encounter.
The popularity of the virtual workforce like the teleworker has grown at a significant rate, since the turn of the 21st century. The 1990 Clean Air Act and 1996 amendment brought awareness to reducing carbon dioxide and pollution and conserving fuel. The Teleworker Exchange Act of 2007 was signed into law. It states that a telework policy must be established by each federal executive agency to have 100% of the eligible federal workforce by 2005. A survey conducted by Crook of International Data Corporation (IDC) “on mobile enterprise claims that by 2015, more than one billion workers across the globe will be working remotely or as virtual workforce”.
A virtual workforce is also known as a global workforce, distributed team, virtual employee or team, or geographically dispersed team. The term virtual workforce refers to geographically dispersed employees within a single organization, business unit or directorate; relying exclusively on information and communication technologies to communicate. These virtual employees are made up of individuals or groups of employees or subcontracts who function as a team on common projects around the global and across space and time. Time, distance, and advances in technology and communications has brought a change to the traditional employer and employee relationship....
Such changes include workplace environment, employees’, employers’, and culture. The global workforce, employee workplace flexibility, life balance, and the virtual work environment; an employee’s expectation, motivation, and working relationship are different (Hoefling, 2003, p.131). With the continued growth of the virtual workforce, there are challenges that both managers and employees may encounter. According to Werner, Schuler, & Jackson (2012) the benefits of a virtual workforce are significant; although not without challenges. Managers may find it increasingly difficult to keep virtual employees motivated, and employees may find it additionally difficult to stay motivated while working in an isolated and detached virtual environment (p. 57). Professional isolation concerns reflect the possibility that the virtual environment can change an employee’s opportunities for participation in traditional office interaction, such as physically attending meeting, face to face contact like chatting around the water cooler or coffee area or taking smoke breaks and walks (Cooper & Kurland, 2002, p. 512). Some employees enjoy and thrive in environments where they can interact with others employees. The virtual workforce is unique in that these employees are not like the traditional office employees, they live and work all around the world, and therefore time and space becomes their norm.According to (Lojeski& Reilly, 2010) “leaders know that to successful build critical mass among employees who are worlds apart geographically, culturally, and even spiritually, engendering healthy communities is key” (p.58). According to Hoefling (2003) “a company today ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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