Home-Based Telecommuting: Technology's Role

Information Science Reference (an imprint of IGI Gloibal)
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Innovative Technologies for Information Resources Management, 2008, 1, pp. 350 - 372
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This chapter examines the role of technology in home-based telecommuting (HBT), and the implications of this role for organizational IT departments and for managers of telecommuting employees. Specifically, it addresses the question: Does technology both facilitate and hinder home-based telecommuting? Although technology enables HBT, it has also been blamed for HBTs slow growth. To clarify the role that technology currently plays when employees telecommute, we describe a recent study that investigated the relationship between different forms of organizational support (classified as technology-related, somewhat technology-related and non-technological) and employees reactions to HBT. Two technology-related support variables and managers trust (a non-technological support) were found to have broad impact on employees reactions to HBT; so, while technology plays a crucial role and thus could be a major factor in HBTs slow growth, we argue that HBT is better understood within a multi-factor rather than a single-factor framework. Other implications are that organizations should emphasize providing IT support and appropriate technology for telecommuters, as well as HBT-related training for non-telecommuting co-workers and managers of the telecommuters.
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