Back in June I published an article regarding Teleworking in which a US study found that more than a third of technology workers would accept pay cuts of up to 10 percent to work from home and avoid the expense of commuting to the office.

Over the past month I conducted poll on Whirlpool about working from home, and of the 385 respondents, 58% said they would take a 10% pay cut to work from home. Researching this further, I find their is a government sponsored project which has been setup to provide advice on the best practices to bring teleworking to your organisation.

One might ask what does this have to do with Fibre to the Home; well everything actually, because one of the strong application drivers for FTTH is the ability to make teleworking a more viable option for both employers and employees. Here I am typing away on this article when I should be putting in my time records into our billing system. But over a DSL connection (even a fast DSL connection) the latency just makes the application so slow and frustrating to use.

For those interested in looking into teleworking this site provides valuable incites into the benefits and how it can be implemented.

Just to summarise what is said on the site:

From an employers perspective there can be many tangible benefits that include; increased recruitment and retention rates, improved productivity, space (and therefore cost) saving, reduced absenteeism, and improvements to staff morale.

From an employees perspective the benefits include; improved productivity that means earning more in the same time, time saving by not having the commute to work, which leads on to the cost savings of travel and housing, enhanced security, flexibility. All of these ultimately lead to an improved work-life balance.

Although many individuals have reported benefits from telework, some have also identified possible challenges:

Mentoring: For the less experienced worker, mentoring by senior staff is an important part of their professional development.

Isolation: For many people, working on their own becomes lonely.

Slower connections: Residential and rural areas do not generally get the kind of technology support and services that inner city offices do and where high-speed connections are available. This is precisely why the Government needs to ensure the NBN delivers a minimum of 12Mbit/s symmetrical and preferably 30Mbit/s or more.

Distractions: Whether it is a neighbour, a spouse, a child, the lawn-mowing, the laundry, the television or the fridge, there will be distractions in the home office.


At 21 July, 2008 12:00 Sheryle Moon said...

Remember that song: "My baby takes the morning train. He works from 9 to 5 and then he takes the train back home again…”

Thank goodness work isn’t like that anymore!

Work is not a place. It’s not time bound. It is all about mobility and connectedness, anywhere on the globe.

I’m a big advocate of teleworking as a new business model for sustainability and economic productivity (and I write about it on my blog: The use of flexible working arrangements and telecommuting provide opportunities for increasing participation of women in the workforce, governments growing productivity and communities reducing their carbon footprint as fewer cars hit the road and large buildings burn lights and air conditioning plants.

Telework Australia says that having a workforce that works at least partly at home can reduce costs of heating, air-conditioning, car parks and lighting by 17 per cent of salary costs. And telework reduces avoidable staff turnover by over 20 percent, while managers report that employees are up to 40 percent more productive.


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