Telework, telecommuting, remote work, virtual work, working from home, mobile work—there are many terms used to describe work that is done from an employee’s home or from another alternative worksite other than the traditional work environment. The term “telework” was first used in the 1970s and gained traction in the 1980s and 1990s, when organizations began to embrace telework, particularly federal agencies. At the time, scholars argued that telework was the wave of the future and would continue to grow exponentially in the years to come. While telework has increased, it has not grown to the extent that scholars predicted. One reason is that many myths and misconceptions about telework still persist. Another is that there is a great deal of uncertainty about how to effectively lead virtual employees and teams from a distance.

In this Discussion, you will explore myths and misconceptions of telework. You will also discuss how virtual leadership is different from face-to-face leadership and identify effective strategies to lead virtual employees and teams.

To Prepare:

By Day 4

Describe two myths or misconceptions about telework, and explain whether there is evidence to support each. Then explain how virtual leadership is different from face-to-face leadership. Finally, propose two strategies for leading virtual employees and teams. Be sure that the strategies address one or more of the following issues: building relationships with followers from afar, ensuring productivity, promoting employee engagement, and increasing employee motivation.

By Day 6

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