Last updated: July 13, 2019
Topic: ArtDesign
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Managerial Work in a Rapidly Changing Work Environment

 

1.         Introduction

In the cost accounting study, a business faces two kinds of costs; they are fixed and variable cost. As the name implies, fixed cost is one type of cost that is not responsive to production levels, which include the cost of leasing an office space since the contract is fixed for a certain period of time (say one year or so). In addition, variable cost is a kind of costs that alter as the number of products change (proportionally or not).

In order to manage costs of production, managers have fierce challenge especially in the today’s business environment that demands the business to cope with the market needs and therefore make appropriate adjustment to win a market.

Concerning the need to reduce cost coupled with the fierce competition in business environment, currently, corporations are striving for finding the best solutions to increase revenue while keeping costs as low as possible.

In order to maintain the competitiveness, corporations might employ information technology. While the matured technology has helped enterprise to reach economy of scale, outsourcing and telecommuting has become enterprises’ solution to keep their fixed costs that incurred from employment and research to reach minimum level. In the Internet era where any documents and meetings can be performed over the Net, outsourcing-typed and telecommuting-type employment model have proved to promote significant savings.

Concerning the issue, this paper will conduct critical evaluation about the complex nature of managerial work in the context of a rapidly changing work environment. Coupled with the need to manage costs and the growing telecommunication technology including the Internet, this paper will discuss the issue of telecommuting, its benefits, and managements actions towards it.

 

2.         Managerial Works

According to Deputy Minister Human Resources Management Advisory Committee (DMHRMAC), a manager has main responsibility to manage people, set appropriate reward program, manage individual and corporate performances, and promote corporate values, ethics, and culture (Public service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada, 2004).

To be specific, Mintzberg (1973) reveals there are three general roles of managers as following:

a)      Decisional roles. They include the capabilities of manager such as entrepreneurial competences, abilities to handle conflicts in organization he leads, capabilities to manage corporate’ resources, and becoming good negotiators

b)      Interpersonal roles. They consist of being a role model, leader and liaison; and

c)      Informational roles. They include the role as a supervisor, disseminator and spokesperson of the company.

 

Within the fierce competition of work environment, managers must have capability to build competitive advantages, eliminating unnecessary costs, managing diverse workforce, utilizing new information technologies and facing global level competitors. This situation suggests, that managerial works in rapidly change work environment is very complicated in nature.

 

3.         Managerial Work in a Rapidly Changing Work Environment and Telecommuting

3.1       The Birth of Telecommuting Method

It happens to almost all workers and employees in the world the situation where they consider that managerial work in the context of a rapidly changing work environment best solution. There are some reasons for conducting telecommuting such as stressful working environment, needs for taking care of children, efficiency amidst the increasing fuel price, and maybe working in cubical-type work station is just boring. Certainly, a few years ago, many workers have sought the perceived safety of home as a workplace.

To be specific, telecommuting-type jobs is somewhat similar to domestic system occurred during industrial revolution in the late18th and early 19th century in Britain. In the system, manufacturing was done by family labor working at home expanded quickly both before and during the industrial revolution.

Its main advantages of the domestic system were cheapness and flexibility. In putting-out systems, employers distributed raw materials to a mass of waged workers working in their own homes. Therefore, labor cost was cheap because at that time was little alternative work available in overpopulated parts of the countryside.

However, the domestic system also provides the disadvantages. It occurs because of dispersed domestic production, it was therefore difficult to discipline workers and to get them to produce on time, especially at harvest time when agricultural work usually took precedence.

Nowadays, jobs also done at home by taking advantages of the matured technology, the Internet, that makes home as SOHO (Small Office Home Office), a place where home has two functions.

 

3.2       Challenge of Managerial Works and Telecommuting

Telecommuting gives employees lots of favor since they do not have to sit in the office for 8-hour office hours, physically. It is due to the fact that telecommuting, coupled with the advancement in telecommunication technologies, has enabled workers to do any assigned tasks effectively and efficiently. Thanks to the invention of cell phones and notebooks that enables me to access data from corporate servers, e-mail, fax, and voice mail wherever I reside.

In some companies, their staffs only meet once or twice a week to follow an important meeting. At extreme condition, in telecommuting-type employment, such ‘physical’ meeting can be avoided by using emerging technology such as video conferences where designated people can talk face-to-face, each from any location, through TV monitor, for instances.

By definition, telecommuting is laboring someone or individual in which he/she does not have to appear physically at the office during the working hours in order to complete his/her tasks.

In addition, the terminology of telecommuting is often interchangeably with remote work, remote job or off-site job. The activity is called as remote working or telecommuting (“Telecommuting”).

Unfortunately, telecommuting is not popular and applicable in some countries yet since telecommuting is still lack of trust so that some employers still want to monitor their employees. In the other word, they will trust about the result by seeing their employees working in front of their computers during the working hours.

Furthermore, telecommuting enables employers to control productivity directly when the employee works at home. Therefore, employees with good work behaviors will work within the direction of company’s benefit in two ways. First, it gives them more advantage in revolving their job into a telecommuting job. The more valuable the company is, the more important employers have to keep them with the company. That consists of allowing a telecommuting job agreement. In addition, the majority employers will make the normal supposition that how I perform our job on-site is how I will perform if I work at home (“Smart Valley Telecommuting Guide”).

 

II.3      Change for the Specific Audience

Specifically, telecommuting does not require employees to dress neatly because they always do their jobs by telecommunication via internet at any times. Work can be finished at the time that agreed on, according to his/her activity everyday.

The telecommuters, people who conduct telecommuting, do not need stay in the same place so that they will earn more times for paying attention to the family and own a lot of time for other activities. Therefore, telecommuting jobs is very compatible to all housewives, which wish to taking care of their families (Hansen, 2004).

Fortunately, telecommuting work system also provides benefits to employers since they do not need rent costly spacious office rooms and can minimize a number of expenditures like electricity (Hansen, 2004).

From telecommuters’ point of view, the impact of telecommuting is the telecommuters can be free of choosing the place to work anywhere they want. Telecommuters do not need to leave their house so that they can pay attention to their family more while completing the assigned tasks.

In this manner, telecommuting generally has characters of part-time or freelance basis employment. It means that every month, I cannot get the same income so that the earning is unpredictable. Under such circumstances, the payment system in telecommuting usually counted per hour, per month, or per project. Therefore, this kind of work is suitable as a secondary job (Hansen, 2004).

 

II.4      Managerial Actions on Telecommuting Jobs

Telecommuting can take place without the need to gather in the same place physically and interact with other employees since telecommuters work from home or from any places, two states away or even separated by continents.

Some exceptional matters are required in order to becoming successful companies with telecommuting-typed employment. First, managements have to ensure that their employees own the skill that managements can rely on. Managements should aware of skills improvement that their employees need to obtain. Therefore, managements had better have employees with specialization on one specific skill to provide companies with sustainable competitive advantages (“Smart Valley Telecommuting Guide”).

Second, managements of companies should ensure that their telecommuters have reliable internet access at home. Managements should also ensure that their telecommuters have an e-mail because it becomes the important communication medium between employers and telecommuters. Figure 1 shows typical network design using WIMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) that connects employers and telecommuters. WIMAX is a broadband wireless technology that enables employers and telecommuters to share files, talking over the phone, and video conferencing with speed connection up to 70 Mbit/s (shared data rates) within the range up to 50 km.

 

 

Figure 1          WIMAX system that Supports Telecommuting

 

Third, managements should ensure that their telecommuters have good English since in telecommuting jobs, communications and the jobs are conducted in plain English (“Finding a Telecommuting Job”).

Fourth, managements must ensure that their telecommuters have high discipline since in telecommuting jobs, managements rarely meet with their telecommuters so that discipline and trusts play the significant role.

Fifth, managements must ensure that they already have detail information of their telecommuters including telecommuters’ skills and talents. In this situation, managements must provide related requirements on skills, educational backgrounds, and job experiences if any completely and truthfully so that they have guidance when they search for telecommuters for their next jobs (“Finding a Telecommuting Job”).

 

III.      Conclusion

To be specific, telecommuting-type jobs is somewhat similar to domestic system occurred during industrial revolution in the late18th and early 19th century in Britain. In the system, manufacturing was done by family labor working at home expanded quickly both before and during the industrial revolution although it poses advantages and disadvantages.

By definition, telecommuting is laboring someone or individual in which he/she does not have to appear physically at the office during the working hours in order to complete his/her tasks.

Telecommuting gives workers favorable situation since they do not have to sit in the office for 8-hour office hours, physically and they can do any assigned tasks effectively and efficiently. Thanks to the invention of cell phones and notebooks that enables me to access data from corporate servers, e-mail, fax, and voice mail wherever they reside.

However, since telecommuting has different characteristics to traditional employees, therefore, managements of any corporations should adjust employment characteristics in order to support telecommuting jobs.

References

 

Hansen, K. 2004, ‘Making Your Case for Telecommuting: How to Convince the Boss’, [Online] Retrieved December 16, 2006 Available at: http://www.quintcareers.com/telecommuting_options.html

Finding a Telecommuting Job. 2005, [Online] Retrieved December 16, 2006 Available at: http://www.createyourmarket.com/telecommuting-jobs-2.html

Mays, R. 2005, ‘Negotiate Your Way into a Telecommuting Job’, [Online] Retrieved December 16, 2006 Available at: http://www.allthatwomenwant.com/negotiate.htm

Mintzberg, Henry. 1973, The Nature of Managerial Work, Harper &Row

Public service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada. 2004, ‘Definition of a Manager’, [Online] Retrieved December 17, 2006 Available at: http://www.hrma-agrh.gc.ca/leadership/mp-ps/documents/final_report/revised_definition_e.asp

Smart Valley Telecommuting Guide. 2004, [Online] Retrieved December 16, 2006 Available at: http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/779/smbiz/netsolutions/find/telecommuting/

Telecommuting Jobs. 2005, [Online] Retrieved December 16, 2006 Available at: http://www.work-at-home.org/telecommuting-jobs.htm