How Teleworking Works Best

Preparing Organizations for the Future of Work

As corporations strive to improve productivity and collaboration among their workforce, the trends of the future predict a workplace in which many more employees are virtually tethered to their companies, rather than geographically onsite. As a result, companies need to prepare for a rise in tele-working. Studies show that between 2005 and 2008, the number of Americans working remotely at least one day a week rose by 74%, and nearly half the US workforce may be viable candidates for tele-working. It is also increasingly seen as a highly desired workplace benefit.

The Conference Board is launching a Research Working Group in March 12-13, 2013 to explore how corporations can gain advantage from increased use of tele-working and receive the highest benefit for both the employee and the employer. This Working Group will investigate strategies for designing best practice tele-working programs, leveraging technology, measuring the impact of tele-working, gaining competitive advantage in talent recruitment and retention, and supporting managers to derive productivity from increased tele-working across the enterprise in the future.

We seek to address the following business questions in three broad categories:

How we function currently:

  • Reviewing the trends for tele-working in the United States by industry, job function and demographics, which roles and skill sets are best fit for tele-work programs?
  • What is the business case for tele-working? Who are the key stakeholders? What is the impact to a company’s culture?
  • What organizational conditions and technology tools best facilitate collaboration and productivity for a remote, distributed workforce?

What about the human factor:

  • How can tele-working programs enhance talent acquisition and development, including the impact on employee engagement? How can it help retain employees at different life stages?
  • How do social collaboration providers impact on your capabilities and team dynamics?
  • What training and support do employees need as the structure of the workplace changes? What communication methods, employee evaluation methods and performance metrics are most effective?
  • How do managers need to shift how they supervise people remotely?

Aspirations for the future:

  • Where is this leading? How should workforce strategists be thinking ahead? What can we look forward to in the future of tele-working?


Led by Alice Snell, former Vice President, Research for Taleo, this Working Group will convene 15-20 companies that seek to develop a competitive advantage by being on the forefront of this seismic change in the workplace. Supported by The Conference Board’s Human Capital and Labor Market teams, the group will produce both hard data to help companies plan their organizational structure, as well as identifying an array of promising practices to facilitate their transition to this growing working style.


Click on the titles below to download reports from our How Teleworking Works Best Executive Action Series

The Business Case for Telework

Practical Guide for Managing Teleworkers

How Teleworking Works Best: Organizational Shifts Ahead

For more information contact irene.sobol@conference-board.org

Teleworking RWG Webcast

How Teleworking Works Best - Special Webcast - 7 Key Insights from Leading Practitioners - October 15th, 2013

Click here to access

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