Transforming Work: The Key Factors Which Impact Management Decisions to Take Up Remote Working within SMEs

By Vida Bayley and Anne-Marie McTavish.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

More and more employers are considering new ways of working which will enable them to improve organisational productivity, enhance individual staff performance, lower costs, and increase employee retention. However, evidence suggests that it is not occurring “as fast as needed or in the right ways to deliver what people, businesses or the economy really want and need for work and life now and in the future”. Research suggests that a culture of ‘presenteeism’ is directly implicated in the fact that despite employees in Britain having some of the longest working hours in Europe, productivity is low. (Final report of the EOC’s investigation into the Transformation of Work, 2007). As the UK government encourages employers to offer more flexible working arrangements and are currently increasing new legislation to broaden the range of employees to whom it is applicable, why is it not being taken up more enthusiastically by organisations?Evidence from the remote working project funded by the ESF at Coventry University Business School indicates that one of the major stumbling block to implementing and translating new, flexible and in particular remote working policies into practice within SMEs is the mind-set of management which often equates new types of working arrangements away from the office as loss of control and trust. Another barrier is management concern related to the issue of the resources (and associated costs) required to enable remote working. This focus of this paper is on research carried out with SMEs in order to ascertain some of the issues (perceived/real) which they identified as key factors in preventing them from providing opportunities for staff to work remotely.

Keywords: Remote Working, SMEs, Transforming Working Practices

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp.115-122. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 558.229KB).

Vida Bayley

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Business Environment and Society, Coventry University, Coventry, UK

Anne-Marie McTavish

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Business Environment and Society, Coventry University, Coventry, UK


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