Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Home Advantage; Information & Communication Technology

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Home Advantage; Information & Communication Technology

Article excerpt


IT IS A CHORE to brave the Tube, which in the summer has been known to reach temperatures above those recommended for the transportation of animals, and in the winter means arduous, chilly waits for delayed trains.

The latest event from the Teleworking Association (an organisation that promotes the benefits of working at home) will doubtless be favourably received by the weary commuter. E-working UK is a series of events designed to persuade businesses of the benefits of teleworking.

The roadshow will cover five major cities, including London, in 11 days.

The E-Working event comes on the heels of a report released last week from market research company IDC which claims that the number of teleworkers in the UK is growing. IDC analyst Romolo Pusceddu says that 40 per cent of the business services sector teleworks.

IDC defines a teleworker as anyone that produces 20 per cent or more of their work from home. By this definition, employees taking home work in the evening and at weekends could feasibly be seen as teleworkers.

This throws IDC's

figure of 950,000 teleworkers in the UK into question.

Alan Denbigh, the head of the Teleworking Association, estimates the figure even higher, citing 980,000 teleworkers in the UK five years ago and 1.8 million now. He adds that his inclusion of self-employed home workers explains the discrepancy.

Denbigh believes that working unusual hours is certainly a pattern that would suit many IT employees.

"You're dealing with a technology that is distributed anyway," he says, referring to current distributed methods of working, where teams are spread across an organisation.

Companies have traditionally been loath to adopt teleworking technology for two main reasons. The first, explains Denbigh, has been the technology available.

"Ten years ago you probably did not have ISDN and you were out on a limb if you worked remotely. …

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