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For every benefit of telecommuting, a challenge

Paul Barter, vice-president of research for T4G, speaks to Monica Spence using a teleconference projection program at their Toronto office. With advances in video communication, meetings can take place virtually.


Employers will have built-in advantages by having employees work on computers remotely in the future, says Ellen Auster, professor of strategic management and policy at the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto:

Employees are not geographically constrained, meaning the company saves on real estate by not having to buy a big building and manage it.

There's better work-life balance for the people doing the work.

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A lighter carbon footprint because employees don't commute.

With advances in video communication, meetings can take place virtually.

But there are challenges facing management in the decentralized work environment, she notes:

Passing on the corporate culture – the norms, values and expectations that traditionally occur through face-to-face contact.

Expectations and goals of the job will need to be communicated to the employee.

May need to implement an online buddy system, pairing a new employee with somebody who knows how to handle work from home.

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About the Author
Sports reporter

James Christie written sports for the Globe on staff since 1974, covering almost all beats and interviewed the big names from Joe DiMaggio, to Muhammad Ali, to Jim Brown to Wayne Gretzky. Also covered the 10 worst years in Toronto Maple Leafs hockey history. More


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