Growing the Virtual Workplace
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Growing the Virtual Workplace

The Integrative Value Proposition for Telework

Alain Verbeke, Robert Schulz, Nathan Greidanus and Laura Hambley

Unique features of the book include an integrative framework for increasing telework adoption; practical tips – specific to each stakeholder – on how best to implement and measure telework; and an analysis of original survey data exploring the virtual workplace adoption decision.
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Chapter 3: Telework Impacts: The Organizational Perspective

Alain Verbeke, Robert Schulz, Nathan Greidanus and Laura Hambley


Organizations implement telework for a variety of reasons, but most importantly because it can reduce costs, increase productivity, and appeal to employees (Illegems and Verbeke, 2003). However, there are also negative or neutral impacts to consider when examining the merits of telework in a workplace. Telework becomes a possibility only if management perceives that the benefits outweigh the costs (Illegems and Verbeke, 2003). This chapter provides an overview of the positive, neutral and negative organizational impacts identified in the literature. These are grouped into four categories: impacts on (1) strategic HR issues, (2) operational HR issues, (3) organizational efficiency and (4) external stakeholders. We will repeatedly observe that many of the benefits to the organization are also benefits to employees and to society at large, further justifying our decision to adopt a single integrative value proposition for telework. As identified in the literature, each category contains a mix of positive, neutral and negative impacts, the impacts being classified as neutral if some research findings are positive and others negative. It is important to note (as we did with employee impacts) that a positive impact experienced by one organization may be a negative one for another. We have simplified this by classifying the impacts according to what research has found to be generally the case. STRATEGIC HR ISSUES Impacts on strategic HR issues include the long-term impacts of telework on the organization’s human capital resource base (Illegems and Verbeke, 2003). These impacts cannot...

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