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Changing work patterns


Teleworking, sometimes called telecommuting, means working from home using modern technology to keep in touch with your business. Jobs can be relocated to places where it is more attractive, more convenient or cheaper to live.

Technology required for teleworking

  • a computer with Internet [Internet: a global network connecting millions of computers ] access
  • an email [email: electronic mail - a message written or typed on a computer and sent electronically rather than by post ] account

Some teleworkers may also use:

  • a fax [fax: a technology used to digitise hard copies of documents, transfer them across the telephone network, and print them on receipt ] machine
  • a mobile phone
  • videoconferencing equipment

Advantages for the employer

  • Office running costs and overheads (rates, electricity, heating etc) can be reduced, which in turn may reduce the need for office space.
  • Travel-related problems may be reduced, ie staff being unable to get into work due to rail/road delays.
  • It may tempt better staff to come and work for the company.

Disadvantage for the employer

  • Employers need to be able to trust their staff and be prepared to have less direct control over them.

Advantages for the employee

  • work in a comfortable environment - their home
  • no commute and no travel costs
  • work around their family's needs

Disadvantages for the employee

  • less human interaction - fewer opportunities to meet people, share ideas with etc.
  • more difficult to work as part of a team, especially if they're all office based
  • greater temptation to spend time on non-work-related activities
  • difficult to separate personal life from work

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