4 September 2003
Government urged to promote teleworking says The Work Foundation
Welcoming the new teleworking guidelines, The Work Foundation calls on employers to recognise that teleworking depends fundamentally on employees being trusted to get on with the job.
Managers have to leave behind traditional attitudes - that employees cannot be working properly unless managers can see them. Teleworker performance should be assessed on the quality of the work done and delivered within timescales agreed with the employee. Core availability times for teleworkers will be necessary in many businesses, but a surveillance culture is not appropriate.
Government statistics actually show that senior managers and professionals are currently the largest group of teleworkers - these are people who have most choice over how, when and where they work.
Teleworking has increased by 13% every year since 1997 and there is much anecdotal evidence that teleworkers are highly committed to their work and are very productive. The productivity benefits should be given as much weight as the contribution teleworking makes to the more frequently cited benefits of work-life balance and reducing commuting.
The Work Foundation says that teleworking deserves to be taken more seriously as a way of working in its own right, not just as an extra in the basket of flexible working practices.
The Work Foundation calls on the Government to undertake research to establish fully the levels of productivity amongst teleworkers. The Government should step up its promotion of teleworking through establishing a cross-departmental committee at a higher level than the DTI sponsored group that has produced the new guidelines.
Notes to Editors
© Work-Life balance part of The Work Foundation 2005