Abstracts: September 25th, 2006

This report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development examines the way in which working from home, using a computer or telephone, is contributing to improving the work-life balance. It argues that many studies on teleworking artificially swell the numbers of teleworkers and it quotes the Office for National Statistics estimate that only 4 per cent of UK employees are full time teleworkers.The report claims that though teleworking has many merits and is likely to become more common in the future, it is currently far from as widespread as popularly perceived and unlikely ever to be a realistic prospect for the majority of workers. The likelihood is that any major breakthrough on flexible working will for most people take the form of reduced hours, flexi-time or changes in shift patterns. All features that are good for the work life balance.

The report notes that the rate of increase in teleworking since the late 1990s has been far faster for the self-employed. The fact that this occurred during a period when growth in self-employment was slow suggests that much of the observed increase in teleworking is simply due to more self-employed people making greater use of information and communications technology.

The report is available at: www.cipd.co.uk