Reflection driven Teamwork: The Restricted Context of Telework
The sense of solitude, the lack of stimuli and the lack of recognition are aspects that become easily installed in telework and drive towards individualism and lowering the level of effectiveness.
This solution requires a different level of participation than the one that is used in face-to-face organizations. It requires fostering a deeper commitment with the significance of the work that is being developed. Reflection driven teamwork is the catalyst of telework that integrates people in the solution of the problems that need to be managed.
This is done by reflection driven teamwork, which is exclusively focused on solving the problems that appear in the processes using a pilot test driven reflection process (unicist reflection), where the solutions are “owned” by all the participants of the process and not by the boss.
This empowers the feeling of belonging and the enrichment of the processes. It allows participants to materialize the sharing of the concept of what is being done.
The Roles that Sustain Virtual Teamwork
There are three roles that sustain telework:
- Performance Management
- Relationship Management
The three roles are sustained by the same wide and restricted context of telework. Virtual teamwork is a new way of “in-house teleworking” will be established using and expanding the possibilities opened by the technological framework.
They are part of the counter-cycle that simplifies management, empowers adaptiveness, growth and profitability and reduces the time invested in the meetings of the executives.
Performance Management of Telework
The performance management system establishes the functions, processes and tasks of a role. In the case of telework, it is a core aspect that is needed to monitor the efficacy of people and the efficiency of the system. Performance management defines the appropriate level of programming of the different work processes to ensure the possibility of integrating the efficacy of people with the efficiency of the system.
The main problem the performance management system solves is that it provides the input for self-control in virtual processes, while it ensures the functionality of the entire system.
The change to be introduced is the development of differentiated programming levels according to the level of efficacy and the level of efficiency required by each role. The more accurate the design of the roles, the higher their level of productivity and quality.
Leadership in Telework
Leadership becomes a core aspect in telework processes. There is a structural change in leadership that needs to be installed in telework, considering that people need to be recognized for their work and as individuals.
The lack of personal contact between the bosses and their collaborators requires introducing several changes to ensure the maintenance of working groups and the feeling of belonging with an organization:
- Coaching: The level of functional authority needs to be ensured and the role of coaching needs to be integrated as part of the activity of the leaders.
- Participation: The level of participation needs to be enhanced through the development of reflection driven teamwork that ensures a deeper level of participation due to the reduction of personal face to face relationships.
- Leadership objects: The use of leadership objects is necessary to sustain the participants in their activities, minimizing the personal exertion of power. The exertion of power needs to be part of the system.
The change is introduced by virtual activities to clarify the functionality of the work processes. The new stage is driven by a superior level of knowledge of the objectives and a superior level of recognition for results.
Relationship Management in Telework
Virtual communication introduces a structural change in business relationships. It needs to empower functional relationships above personal relationships. This requires multiple different actions:
- Complementation: the complementation between functions and roles needs to be enhanced in order to generate superior results and the sharing of the credits among the participants of the process. It requires increasing the level of functional relationships within a transparent environment.
- Functional Relationships: The functionality of the role of a person provides the credibility and trust in a virtual environment. It requires that the relationships need to be based on functional demands, which make people accept other visions and establish synergistic relationships.
- Personal Relationships: The lack of face-to-face communication diminishes the power of personal relationships, which needs to be compensated by personal reliability. It requires a new type of communication-based transparency.
A new stage of business relationships needs to be established, knowing that in telework processes the value of a person is naturally driven by the value s/he adds. Accountability, reliability and transparency are implicit elements that drive this new stage.