Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Re-Spacing Work

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Re-Spacing Work

Article excerpt

Technology, location, contractual arrangements, and time are the four substantive components to consider when defining "telework," according to an article by Leslie Haddon and Malcolm Brynin in the journal New Technology, Work and Employment. Students of the telework phenomenon have gone from leaving technology entirely out of the definition to focus on the knowledge content of the work itself to requiring at least some use of new information and communications technology to be considered any sort of telework at all. The authors acknowledge the crucial role of technology, but suggest that different technologies do more to define the specific type of telework one might be engaged in rather than to define telework itself.

Similarly, on the factor of location, some definitions of telework refer exclusively as work in the home while other broaden out to other "remote" worksites. Again, the authors look at location as more a measure of how telework is being done, and would exclude only those who work only at a standard workplace from being engaged in some form of telework.

The main distinction in the contractual arrangements argument for defining telework is between self-employed and wage-and-salary workers, although some would distinguish between a self-employed teleworker who works for a single client and a self-employed freelancer who works for several clients. Analysts incorporating time in their definitions of telework must take into account arrangements that stretch from an occasional hour of away-from-the-office work in the evening or on a weekend to working almost exclusively from a home or mobile work space. …

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