Before the days of internet, intranet, email and videoconferencing, work teams were generally required to be in the same locations for working effectively as well as efficiently. In modern days, majority of the organizations prefer working with global teams based in various buildings, countries, cities and also, continents. Moreover, the team-members may be in a different time zone, speak other languages and also be a part of various cultures. A team may include different variety of circumstances. On selecting employees for working in a geographically dispersed team, it is highly important to choose the people having right qualities for the situation (Reiche et al. 2016).
The purpose of the report is to analyze the rise of tele-commuting and increased separated workplaces, since 1995. The report highlights the definition of remote intelligence as it is applied to the highly trained and separated workers. In addition to this, the report will throw light on the importance of remote intelligence in companies and why it is essential for them. Moreover, while reviewing the articles, it is examined that identifying the nature of remote intelligence is important for the developed Western countries. Furthermore, there are significant threats as well and therefore, using it ethically is immensely important for the organizations. The report also includes the benefits as well as disadvantages of remote intelligence. Lastly, it discusses about the leadership skills and styles required for managing remote intelligence sustainably.
Rise of tele-commuting and Separated Workplaces
In order to succeed in global economy in modern days, several organizations are relying on the workforce that is geographically dispersed. With the inception of internet, intranet and video conferencing, companies are building up teams, which offer the best expertise from all across the world. Moreover, these teams are combined with local and deep knowledge of the promising markets. Companies draw on benefits from international diversity that brings people together from all over the country, with varied cultures as well as work experiences (Hill and Bartol 2016).
This help in introducing different concepts or perspectives on organizational and strategic challenges. These factors are giving rise to tele-commuting and increasing the concepts of networked as well as separated workplaces. Furthermore, these factors are helping multinational corporations to compete in the ever-increasing competitive business environment. However, the managers who are actually given the responsibilities of leading the global teams face various challenges. At times, team members from various countries as well as functional backgrounds may not share the same opinions or experiences, which leads to the deterioration of communication and give rise to misunderstandings (Gilson et al. 2015).
In modern days, countries have large differences in salaries as well as wages. Globalization can be usefully thought as the arbitrage form that is driven by a simple fact that few things are cheap in one country than the other. Remote intelligence can be referred as the concept where human beings operate a team, situated at some other place. Remote intelligence has both flexibility and judgment and thus, it is far more disruptive, in both poor as well as rich nations, especially at short terms (Binder 2016). An example which already exists in modern days is the tele-medicine form, where the patients are being diagnosed as well as treated remotely. Outsourcing and technological advancements have been never seen as the threat to the workers of the Western countries. With the emergence of the remote intelligence, more and more routine jobs in service sectors are getting benefitted. Companies are being able to work and manage remote workers and in addition to this, video conferencing has also enabled the managers to hold team meetings, without any difficulties (Lilian 2014).
Company’s Remote Intelligence is not necessarily Tele-commuting
The concept of tele-commuting is nothing new as it is being widely used by most of the companies. Jack Nilles, an engineer and physicist, came up with this innovative idea back in the year 1973. He was designing a space for communications systems and vehicles for NASA and U.S. Air Force. He realized how this concept of tele-communications can replace the time consumed by commuting for the staff members. The terms tele-commuting and tele-work was being coined then and there, as he started working on the projects by allowing the employees to work from their homes (Gibbs and Boyraz 2015). The concepts of remote working, tele-commuting, tele-work and work from home are all fairly similar. However, there is a slight difference between the concepts, which the companies need to understand before applying those. Remote intelligence or remote work generally implies that the employees live outside the geographic location of the organization’s main head office. On the other hand, tele-work or tele-commuting refers to the work, which can be done from home. It does not matter whether the worker is in some different country or not (Hoch and Kozlowski 2014).
Nature of Remote Intelligence
Several organizations favor remote work over other. The organizations, which are in favor of the remote intelligence concept, are expected to get the concept of its nature more clearly. The remote intelligence concept must be demonstrated to the senior authorities in order to be more creative and productive. The workplace is evolving rapidly than before. The employers are needed to be aware of the nature as well as consequences of remote intelligence before applying it practically. The nature of remote intelligence specifically depends upon the demand for flexibility and greater choice, accessibility to the real time learning, sense of stability, increased automation, abilities to work on global projects and others (Carter et al. 2015). Majority of the workplaces are changing and are perceived in a positive manner. However, there is a fear that smart machines or automation may replace the works that are being done by human beings. In addition to this, the nature of remote intelligence requires the workers to be open to the workplace changes. Therefore, it is important to understand the concept as well as nature of artificial intelligence in a clear manner, before applying it in reality (Lisak and Erez 2015).
Threat of Remote Intelligence
Remote intelligence has a negative side as well. It can constitute a significant threat to the sustainability of the work forces, especially in the developed Western countries. Ninety percent of the people believe that technology contributes to the deeper connections across time and distance. However, 50 percent fears the threat of automation as well as smart machines can replace people and manpower for the repetitive works. In addition to this, at many workplaces, employees generally have the mindset of, “we have always done it in this manner”, which needs to be changed as soon as possible (Scott and Wildman 2015). Employees who are against organizational changes can never accept global workforce. In the Asia Pacific region, 81 percent of the people are much excited about embracing change and rise of technology. On the other hand, 59 percent of the individuals are afraid of organizational changes and they fear that constant role shifting may require new learning skills. Furthermore, the young workers are now a day, searching for meaningful lucrative salaries and without a proper international human resource manager, the company may face stiff challenges in this segment (Kasemsap 2016).
Ethical use of Remote Intelligence
For the technical communicators, working in the multicultural teams can invite upon certain challenges as the individual members have different cultural values or beliefs. Therefore, it is important to maintain certain ethics for remote intelligence. It is highly necessary to discuss the ethical challenges before and the ways it should be addressed by the organizations. The potential ethical challenges can be the differences in the time zones, holidays, cultural differences, language barriers as well as technology. The methods for solving these ethical dilemmas are being presented in five simple methods (Ebrahim 2015).
These methods are training, eliminating biasness, collaboration skills, understanding as well as adapting the culture and adapting communication skills. The ethical challenges, which several multicultural global teams face, are being categorized in various forms. One of the initial challenges is to understand the scheduling and planning that needs to take place. Scheduling these issues can end up in turning into the ethical challenges. The team members may feel inconvenienced or alienated, if they had to work early or late than their working hours for meeting the demands of the globally dispersed teams (Cramton and Hinds 2014).
Benefits and Drawbacks of Remote Intelligence
There are several ways the organizations can get benefitted from remote intelligence. The vast technology provides the platform as well as infrastructure for the growth of the companies. It is really the knowledge and minds of the individuals within the companies, which makes the differences between failure and success. It helps in increasing the productivity, talent, creativity and responsiveness within the organizations. Managing a global team can help in contributing huge experiences and skills from all across the world. In addition to this, the productivity level also increases, which in turn helps in enhancing the profitability of the businesses (Barnwell et al. 2014).
However, just as a coin has two sides, the concept of remote intelligence has both disadvantages as well as disadvantages. The drawbacks of the concept are being discussed in this part of the report. The successful global teams result from the support as well as efficient use of multiple technologies of communication like instant emails, messaging, video conferencing and others. Therefore, the costs associates with these maintenance and installation tools are comparatively higher. In addition to this, if these teams are not being managed effectively, there will be a lack of collaboration or trusts within the team members. This can further lead to social isolation or team conflicts may arise (Morgan, Paucar-Caceres and Wright 2014).
Leadership styles and skills for managing Remote Intelligence
The concept of remote intelligence is being characterized by the team members located in various geographies as well as time zones with communication and information technology tools being the only interface. This concept offer several challenges as well. For overcoming these challenges and unleashing the potential and creativity of the team members, leaders should adopt a blend of three styles of leadership that is transactional, situational and transformational. As per the transactional approach, the core focus of the team leaders should be on execution of tasks as well as the achievement of team’s objectives. Therefore, the leaders should regularly communicate with their team members both outside and inside the team environment. Moreover, they should use various media channels available according to the situational demands (Muszynska 2015).
Similarly, the transformational approach allows the team leaders to use several mechanisms in order to inspire as well as motivate the team members. Moreover, this requires the leaders to provide nurturing, caring as well as intellectual support to the members. They are required to facilitate meetings by using tools such as videoconferencing and others. Lastly, the situational approach allows the leaders to adopt higher level of flexibility befitting the situations. Furthermore, they are required to adapt after analyzing the whole situation. This should also reflect the approach of motivating and managing the members’ working as well as communication styles. The motivation factor comes from the pay structure of the organizations, working environment, good team members, healthy competition and others (Barnwell et al. 2014).
To conclude, managing a geographically dispersed team can benefit an organization to a huge extent. It brings in huge talent as well as experiences within the organizational culture. Moreover, it helps in introducing new concepts and ideas, which proves to be beneficial for the businesses. In addition to this, organization’s get highly benefitted from a globally dispersed team as people of different culture come with different skills and experiences. However, there are various challenges that come along with remote intelligence and tele-commuting. The organizations need to gain an understanding of those challenges as well, in order to excel and get highly benefitted.
The report discussed in detail the concept of remote intelligence and its nature. In this ever-increasing competitive business environment, organizations are working with global teams in order to compete on the international level. Moreover, the report has given a clear idea of the benefits as well as drawbacks of remote intelligence, which the organizations should keep under consideration. Lastly, the report has also given a clear concept of the significant threats and relevant leadership styles required for managing remote intelligence, within organizations.
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