We consider a workforce "distributed" if it meets any of the following three conditions:
- Individual workers are in different physical locations.
- Most normal communications and interactions, even with colleagues in the next office, are asynchronous; that is, they do not occur simultaneously.
- The individual workers are not all employed by the same organisaion, or are working within distinctively different parts of the same parent organisation. They may have widely different terms of employment.
EEach of these three dimensions impacts workforce management in today's economy, and the interactions among them create new skill requirements, demand new management practices, and raise stress levels for everyone. However, these new conditions also present intriguing opportunities for productivity improvement, organisational effectiveness, and enhanced personal satisfaction.
The above is from a short article, Understanding Distributed Work, by The Work Design Collaborative, and available here.