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In this section of the Module, you will be learning how to understand and accommodate the cultural and social implications of telework as follows:

Organisational Change

The organisational change strategies used to implement telework into the organisation will have impacts which need to be monitored and responded to. It is important to recognise and look for opportunities to accommodate the reality of these changes after the telework implementation has occurred. The culture will have changed significantly and there will also be ongoing social changes; both requiring monitoring. It's important to understand that these changes may be either positive or less desirable outcomes of the implementation.

In Part 2 of this Module we highlighted that there are three key areas to consider regarding organisational change -

1. Infrastructure: physical and technological

2. Processes and policies: organisation culture; information management; time and productivity management

3. People: mind-sets, leadership and management; relationships and collaboration; and social inclusion through workforce participation.

Cultural Implications

Have you successfully implemented the processes required to adapt the organisational culture to telework? What did the organisation do well and what areas need further attention?

The strategies used to implement telework into the organisation should be reviewed to identify any areas of strength and areas that need modifying or consolidating, e.g.:

1. Is the physical Infrastructure in place?

2. Does the technological infrastructure support the teleworkers?

3. Are apprpriate processes and policies in place; are they robust, and do the support telework as intended?

4. Have there been adjustments to peoples' mindsets?

5. Are the telework agreements still relevant and functional?

The following tools may assist in reviewing your strategies and identifying any issues.

Social Implications

Whilst some social implications of telework cultural change will affect the whole organisation, others will be specific to the teleworker. Examples include:


    • employees may have personal challenges adapting to the telework culture in the organisation; they may for example be resentful if they aren't able to telework.

    • if conference calls are not effective (e.g. due low quality audio or teleconference facilities), staff at the office may feel that the work of the overall team is compromised in order to benefit the teleworker.

    • even though management may be comfortable – using outcomes-based performance – that teleworkers are contributing their share, staff at the office may have a different view.


    • teleworkers may have challenges with work/life balance (some teleworkers actually work longer hours because their 'office desk' is always there and hard to ignore, particularly when there are deadlines.
    • teleworkers may lack the self-discipline to manage their time and keep work standards high hence feeling pressure from colleagues at the office
    • Teleworkers may miss the social interaction with colleagues or feel forgotten/overlooked

Review and Refine regularly

The implementation of telework into your organisation will require ongoing review and refinement as a part of your usual management processes on a regular basis. Like your membership targets, attendee numbers at your events and building your organisation's profile, this will require commitment to have a successful outcome.               

 Return to 'Telework part 7 - Managing transition'    Continue to 'telework assessment' - Quiz 6