The teleworking development

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Introduction

The teleworking development was started in 1970s, but in the beginning the use of teleworking was very low due to: high costs in communication technologies and the information combined with technological limits during those days. In early 1990s teleworking was rediscovered as an alternative way to categorize the work in order to cut down the commuting to work place, balance family-work and enhance the productivity of the work Pérez Pérez et al. (2005).

Telecommuting can be perceived as one aspect towards flexible and adaptable working conditions and administrational structures in the economy. In the 1990s worldwide economic prerequisites appeared to be encouraging for telecommuting in terms of employment market, business environment, energy conservations and transport blockages Chee Sing Yap (1996).

According to Ellis & Webster (1999) telecommuting may benefit organizations as teleworkers are found to be more assured and produce higher productive rates in their jobs added to this, the intention to leave the current job is very low than traditional workers. Whereas, in accordance to Chee Sing Yap (1996) companies believe that telecommuting would reduce job contentment due to reduced interaction between employees and concerned about problems such as management of telecommuters and data security. Companies are not aware of benefits of telecommuting. Chee Sing Yap (1996). The benefits of teleworking as addressed by Manuela Perez et al (2004) is that managers and employees can access their activities from remote localities such as

Home based teleworking: managers and employers working from their homes

  • Mobile teleworking: working from remote locations such as hotels, airports etc...
  • Telecenters: branch offices whose principle idea is to improve and ease employees commuting.
  • North Americans use the term Telecommuting id where as in Europe the phrase telework is most commonly used Cooper & Burke (2002).

    Definition of Teleworking

    Jack Nilles was referred as father of telework who coined the term telecommuting. "Nilles defined telework (or alternatively telecommuting) as a work arrangement that entails working outside the conventional work place and communicating with it by way of telecommunications or computer-based technology" Cooper & Burke (2002).

    Mirchandani (1999) describes teleworking as an arrangement of working conditions where an employee works from there home instead of traditional work place.

    According to Ellis & Webster (1999) telecommuting is the way of working process from a remote location, making use of personal computer and telecommunication equipment.

    Yap (1996) considers that an employee home is not the only distant location for the means of telecommuting. He expands his definition by defining telecommuting as a mode of work where an individual can work from their home or satellite work centres by utilizing telecommuting technologies and their personal computers rather than commuting to their office.

    Gray et al (1993) defines teleworking as a flexible way of working remotely from traditional work place or employer's site, for a considerable amount of work time.

    Teleworking in the United Kingdom - 2001 is too old data pls see labour force survey 2005

    There was a dramatic increase in the number of teleworkers in the UK and other countries. Between 1997 and 2001 there was an increase by 65 to 70 percent in UK, it was revealed that there was 2.2 million teleworkers in spring 2001 only in UK, of these 1.8 million telewokers could not perform there activities without the use of both telephone and computer. The percentages of employees in telecommuting are self employed and most of them are men and three quarters of them are in private sectors in the following occupational groups.

    • Technical
    • Senior officials
    • Professional
    • Managers
    • Associate professionals

    The remaining 25 percent teleworkers are in business activities, renting and real estate and only small portion of teleworkers are in water and energy industries.

    U Hotopp - Labour Market Trends, 2002 - statistics.gov.uk

    Teleworking in Public & Private sectors

    The experiment of teleworking was officially started by public sectors in its organization system in late 1995 Stanford-Smith & Chiozza (2001). In UK the overall percentage of teleworkers in private sectors is 74% which exceeds the 26% of teleworkers in public sectors. The drastic difference is due to the number of self employed teleworkers working as freelancers and e-lancers in private sectors.

    Taskin & Edwards (2007) conducted two case studies in Belgian public sectors. The first public sector ECOMIN, choose a group of employees for teleworking, in spite of enormous effort spent on teleworking the project did not progress. The failure exposed structural conditions but also the inconsistency in rules and objectives of control methods and existing administrative control systems. The second public sector, HUMIN introduced teleworking to enhance their employee's motivation and working conditions. By employing teleworking, a new tradition in encouraging responsibilities and autonomy of employee's was diffused. In this situation this public sector avoided conflicts with the existing control systems.

    Above para is taken from pdf file named 2public sectors

    Following are the two distinct questions that were addressed by Taskin & Edwards (2007) from these two case studies.

    • Does this new structure of Teleworking fit into Public sectors?
    • What sort of influence does telework impose on employee's autonomy and control?

    According to Garson (2006) private sectors have flourished in their business by adopting teleworking. A report from 2002 Department of Labour presents that 10% of employee's in private sectors are telecommuters when compared to 2% of work force in public sectors. Private sectors take advantage of telecommuting as organizations fire their staff as employees and rehire them as self employed contractors and getting paid on the basis of the work accomplished. This is a common practice in insurance companies Bureau & Martin (1992).

    Various private companies in US, such as Sun Microsystems, Gamble, Cisco, Bank of America, IBM and Procter have employed teleworking for many years. International Business Machine adopted Teleworking as one of the strategies to come out of the catastrophes in 1991 and 1993 where the company lost 16 billion dollars and cut 117,000 jobs. IBM estimates that by use of teleworking it saves 75 million dollars per annum and there is a 20% increase in their employee's productivity. Employee survey in IBM revealed that 70% of the work force experienced positive impact of teleworking Cooper & Burke (2002).

    Types of Teleworking

    Jackson & Wielen (1998) represents the following three terms for defining telework

    • Electronic homework
    • Telecommuting
    • Flexiwork

    Long (1987) characterize telworking into following terms

    • Remote working: the work that take place away from the actual place of business.
    • Home working: the work that is done by an employer from their residence
    • Teleworking or Telecommuting: the work which is done at remote place or at residence but still being linked up with the work that is being operated in the main office.

    Beasley & Lomo-David (2000) mentions three distinct telework approaches such as

    • Nomadic computing: in this approach teleworkers will be engaged from variable remote locations. For example, sales transaction that is being carried out by a sales person.
    • Telecommuting: teleworkers performing their activities from fixed remote locations.
    • Remote access computing: in this approach teleworkers will be engaged from multiple fixed remote locations while performing their tasks. E.g., work that is being carried out by a consultant from several client sites.
    • 1 Types of Teleworking Programmes:

    There are different types of teleworking as mentioned by Korte & Wynne (1996).

    • Outsourcing: in this group of teleworking, tasks which are performed within the organisation are sub-contracted to other organisations.
    • Telemarketing/sales: this type of teleworking is more frequent where teleworkers use this method to advance their company and promote their products in this competitive world
    • Centre-based Telework: there are many different aspects of such teleworking. These vary from neighbourhood work centres, satellites, telecottages to televillages.
    • Special Needs Group Integration: this refer to system that look to incorporate disabled people into the work environment by making use of telework as a sourcve.
    • 5 Benefits of Teleworking

    The benefits that are presented by Korte & Wynne (1996) are those extracted from managers, board members and personnel departments of an organisation, therefore presented benefits apply to précised sub-groups of teleworkers.

    Benefits:

    • Operating costs, labour costs and other overhead costs can be saved.
    • Quality of work and service to the customers and clients can be improved.
    • Organisations proceedings can be enhanced?????????.
    • Teleworkers can be recruited for low cost when compared to non teelworkers.
    • Working standards can be enriched by teleworking.
    • Employment is not at risk due to the use of freelancers.
    • Commuting problems and expenses can be reduced.
    • Quality of life can be improved.
    • New business opportunities can be created.
    • Work and non work activities are carried out in a synchronized fashion by teleworkers.
    • Ensures job security as paid worker instead of being unemployed. Korte & Wynne (1996)

    Methods of Adopting Teleworking

    HR Managers are the key decision makers in the adoption of teleworking, the arrangement of teleworking programme entails the association of those employees who are more flexible in programming and designing their own tasks. HR managers will make use of the some of the experienced group of teleworkers to diffuse teleworking within companies' major programmes Perez et al. (2003). HR managers are better in recognizing the difficulties that may arise in managing teleworking tasks and hence can reduce the performance; middle managers resist the introduction of teleworking within the organization if they perceive that teleworking reduce their identity in the organization Weisenfeld et al., (1999).

    Peters et al. (2004) states that regular use of computers will have an effect on the telecommuter preferences. Workman et al. (2003) found that telecommuter's commitment can be facilitated by prosperous technology and there familiarity with new technologies, the same point was stated by Huws et al. (1990) based on the survey conducted with 4,000 European employees.

    "Telework is a multifaceted phenomenon. Two of the central components involve working from non-traditional locations and using information and computer technology. The information technology can vary in sophistication from simply using a telephone to arrangements with faxes, modems and e-mail links" Daniels et al. (2000)

    Teleworking Technology

    Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the primary layer for telecommuting technology that serves as transmission of encrypted data between employee's home work station and their office network connection. Another important layer is the Network Access Control (NAC), it queries each PC before permitting the network access to check any anti virus and other security software's are installed. NAC can make sure that telework programme have a firewall and current patches when teleworkers log in Krasne (2009).

    Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Remote Access Servers (RAS) are the software and hardware combinations that allow teleworkers to access their office networks. The hardware component and always-on connection such as DSL (Digital Subscribe Line) are the most effective gateway to the commercial networks.

    C Rodgers, E Teicholz - Facilities Design & Management, 2001 - graphicsystems.biz

    According to Shilling (2005) "only about one-third of companies with telework arrangements pay for an at-home broadband connection for workers, providing a fast, always-on connection is one easy way to increase telecommuting productivity"

    Infrasructure

    According to Scholtz et al. (1998) Infrastructure required for telecommuters depends on the requirements of the work they are carrying out. Following are the infrastructures used by three teleworkers who worked for different organization with varied designations Scholtz et al. (1998)

    Jenny Degroot was a part time teleworker working in Human Factors Group at Ameritech. Jenny works from home and distance from her office was 2000miles.

    Thomas Erickson is a researcher in Apple Computers.

    Leslie Schirra works in Atlanta Gas Light Company

    Broadband connectivity:

    Broadband technology is a name given to any communication mode that has a faster rate of transmission in contrast to the fastest telephone line. Broadband technology can provide permanent connections it is becoming as popular as network connections. Broadband is the fastest way in connecting to a network as the data is not required to go through a conversion process because most of the broadband technologies operate through a digital signal Yull & Stump (2003). There are Different types of Broadband Connections.

    1. DSL Broadband:

    Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) is the technology that can provide high-speed networking over the phone line by using broadband modem technology. DSL technology can be used on one single phone line, turning into a high-speed digital connection without interrupting internet and telephone services Miller (2007). "DSL providers typically offer their services in tires and with different downstream speeds (the time it takes for users to download Web pages, files, email, etc.) and upstream speeds (the time in takes to send email and other messages, share files, etc.)"Dvorak et al. (2004). The data rates of 8.448 Mbps are supported by DSL, although typical rates are 1.544 Mbps or lower.

    2. ASDL Broadband:

    Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ASDL) is a high bandwidth digital service that can be offered by telephone companies; depending on the service they can provide high transmission rates Yull & Stump (2003). According to Ferguson (2005) "ASDL has a much slower upstream rate relative to its downstream rate". ASDL is similar to DSL when it comes to supporting voice and data simultaneously on one single line.

    3. SDSL Broadband:

    Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line (SDSL) can provide symmetrical streams such as downstream speeds and upstream speeds of between 160Kbps and 2Mbps. SDSL is installed in enterprises that require two-way bandwidth as it is capable of same data rate on both directions Maldoom (2005). Applications that are supported by SDSL technology are Web hosting, Videoconferencing, telebanking, IP telephony and teleworking. SDSL cannot support voice and data on one line Littman (2002). According to Littman (2002) "SDSL enables full-duplex symmetrical transmission rates at 384 Kbps, 1.544 Mbps (T-1), 2.048 Mbps (E-1) and higher speeds in increment of 64 Kbps".

    4. Local Loop Broadband:

    This type of broadband is developed to support telephony traffic. The large number of

    subscriber lines in relation with the voice transmission and internet traffic is supported

    by local loop of a telecommunications network. Generally the term local loop is used

    to describe the connection from local provider to consumers Jayant (2005).

    5. Cable Broadband:

    This type of broadband connection is available from the local cable company. Speeds can reach up to 500Kbps to 30Mbps by piggybacking onto the normal cable television by broadband cable internet Miller (2007). In some cases only one-way access are offered by cable companies, during this type transmission analog phone lines are used to send all upstream requests which are limited to 33.3Kbps. In this kind of situation it is useful to opt for two-way cable Minasi (2005). According to Minasi "most cable companies support the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCIS). Any DOCSIS-compatible cable modem will work on any DOCSIS-compatible cable system which means we can probably take your cable modem with you if you move. "

    6. Satellite Broadband:

    If there is no access to internet service via DSL or cable, broadband satellite is the option to connect to the internet. Hughes Net is the largest provider for internet access via satellite; the signals can be received if there is a small dish mounted on top of a roof. "Any household or business with a clear line of sight to the southern sky can receive digital signals from a geosynchronous satellite at 700Kbps" Miller (2007).

    7. Wireless Broadband:

    In the last few years Wireless broadband have become more intense due to the large demand on high frequency consumption and many users are going for high data rate access simultaneously. According to Lu "The future of wireless is not just wireless, it is part of life" Lu (2002). WiFi and WiMAX are few notable services in wireless broadband. Few other wireless access services are ultra wideband (UWB) wireless service and Unlicensed Wireless Access (UWA) Smith & Collins (2006)

    8 Advantages and Disadvantagess of Teleworking

    Harpaz (2002) specifies three main constituents that are potetially affected by adopting teleworking i.e, Organisation, Individual and Soceity. Cooper & Burke (2002) indicate these three constitutes as growing demands for telecommuting where Copper & Burke cites individual as an employee. The researcher examines how these three constituents and telecommuting vary according to the circumstances by discussing advantages and disadvantages of these three constituents.

    Advantages of Teleworking:

    Advantages of Telecommuting for the Employees

    Autonomy:

    In any kind of work pattern, an employee responsibility can be boosted with the absence of a supervisor and there work occurs more naturally and freely. (Harpaz 2002)

    Flexibility:

    Employees will have varied flexibilities in their profession, working hours and interactions with their family members. Telecommuters can work with more freedom and choice in their desired profession and also they can enhance their promotion opportunities by working for number of employers simultaneously. Working hours can be flexible by simple work station at home which allows activities to take place day or night and finally this kind of flexible teleworking will have the option to take care of their small children and supervise disable or older members in their family and devote time in leisure activities, social life, volunteer work, etc. (Harpaz 2002). G. K. Stephens (1998) speaks about flexibility in telecommuters physical working conditions: comfortable dress code while working from home and privacy.

    According to Morgan (2004) "Improved flexibility and resilience may be created by instituting formal telework programs which can, in turn, provide further benefits in other areas of the organization; improving the speed and agility to respond to changing forces in the business environment."

    Reduces Commuting Problems:

    Telecommuters do not need to be bothered about the traffic congestions that take during peak times while travelling to and from work; this reduces pressure and stress of the telecommuters, thereby quality of life can be improved. The saved time can be utilized for leisure activities (Harpaz 2002).

    Advantages of Telecommuting for the Organization:

    Increased productivity:

    According to G.K. Stephens (1998) there is an increased productivity in e-workers when compared to site based employees and also conflicts between the employees sharing the same office can be avoided that may arise due to interpersonal problems. Tele commuter's motivation can be increased by adopting attractive working conditions which in turn increases level of job satisfaction and contributing to the individual's productivity towards their organization (Harpaz 2002).

    Teleworkers performance can be highly productive when compared to in-office workers due to the following reasons as documented in the popular literature by Montreuil and Lippel (2003) cited in Mann & Holdsworth (2003)

    • Few interrupting situations.
    • Work schedules are flexibly planned.
    • Extended working hours.
    • Teleworkers impose extra effort on their work to prove that their chosen method is effective and highly productive.

    According to Morgan (2004) "The employee, improving their role and contribution, while simultaneously providing bottom-line benefits to the organization, can realize productivity gains".

    Better Recruitment process:

    Individuals can be recruited from anywhere in the country and even beyond it, as distance working provides access to wide range of employees. Organization can reach many groups of skilled individuals such as disable or older people, parents of small children who where physically inaccessible before teleworking was adopted by organisations (Harpaz 2002)

    According to Morgan (2004) "The importance and value of information dissemination and responsiveness can mean that telework provides a timely and comprehensive response to competitive challenges, potentially exploiting opportunities and circumventing threats".

    Reduced Expenses:

    Telecommuting saves on the organization accommodation for their employers and savings can also be made on taxes, maintenances and all miscellaneous expenses (Harpaz 2002)

    Advantages of Telecommuting for the society:

    Quality environment

    Telecommuting reduces the pollution caused by cars travelling to and from office and reduced traffic means less number of road accidents and less pressure on public transportation (Harpaz 2002)

    Solutions for Individuals with special needs:

    Teleworking provides access to work for individuals with specific difficulties such as parents with small children and disabled people. Teleworking is the hope for the group of people who have difficulties going to work due to their culture and religious circumstances (Harpaz 2002)

    Efficient use of energy:

    Savings can be made in municipalities' investments, for example, road repairs, electricity etc...

    Disadvantages of Teleworking:

    Disadvantages of Telecommuting for the Employees:

    Isolation:

    Teleworkers feel isolated while working from remote places as they lack social interaction. The workplace is the central point of interaction for all the employees in any organisation as they spend more time with their colleagues when compared to their family members Abdel-Wahab (2007).When Telecommuters are required to attend the workplace to accomplish various necessary tasks they have the feeling of outsider and experience isolation and solitude Harpaz (2002).

    According to Abdel-Wahab (2007) "Isolation contributes to the perception of being "out of sight, out of mind" leading to fears of diminished promotability".

    Conflicts in Work and Home Related Activities:

    Telecommuters can be in a difficult situation in partitioning the work and home related tasks. Family members may presume that Individuals working from home are always available for there home related activities. Individuals can balance these two domains by carrying their work tasks at their work place, this avoids conflicts in work and home related activities Harpaz (2002).

    "Some families may perceive telecommuting as an invitation to take the telecommuter away from work. Such families may represent a real obstacle to telecommuting" Abdel-Wahab (2007).

    Lack of Technical and Professional Support:

    Individuals working from home will lack the support from their co-workers, maintenance team and supervisors. In this circumstance any work related problems faced by an individual will delay their progress added to this working from home doesn't provide access to various services such as library facilities, postal distribution etc. Harpaz (2002). It is very difficult to explain any type of problem on the phone or receive any sort of help from concern person by telephone or e-mail Abdel-Wahab (2007).

    Disadvantages of Telecommuting for the Organization:

    Organizations have to invest heavily on training methods and new supervision procedures. Difficulties may arise with performances and planning measures. Harpaz (2002). Superiors or managers have to be trustworthy about telecommuting policies, but in the interviews conducted by G. K. Stephens (1998) one telecommuter expressed difficulties in trusting their mangers in providing sufficient information about teleworking program itself and providing inadequate answers when problem arises from telecommuters.

    Success Factors in Implementing Teleworking:

    According to Kasacavage (2002) following are the three success factors in implementing teleworking, which are agreed by most of the employees and telecommuting organizations.

    • Measurable objectives defined clearly
    • Robust communication system.
    • Trust in telecommuting.

    Measurable objectives defined clearly

    Job descriptions and telecommuting policies must be clearly defined and evaluated, which helps in having a series of short and long term objectives.

    Robust communication system:

    Organization needs a strong communication system as teleworkers are not frequently present in the office than non telecommuters. There is high probability of forgetting and keeping them apart from decision making process if strong communication systems are not maintained. Following steps can adopted to maintain robust communication system

    • Internal and External documents need to be distributed to teleworkers.
    • Teleworkers should be informed about the meeting schedules.
    • Teleworkers should have updated information on Office parties and other special occasions.

    Trust in telecommuting:

    Managers and employees should believe that telecommuting produces necessary benefits otherwise success will be destabilized Kasacavage (2002).

    Security Issues Related to Teleworking

    A survey conducted by British Computer Society revealed that 42% of users had fallen victim to spyware threats and viruses, with 26% reporting spyware bug and loss of data to a virus by20% Furnell (2006). Based on the surveyconducted by UK's Office National Statistics Labour Force there are two million teleworkers in UK and 82 million require secured access to the corporate network across Western Europe and United States Peacey (2006).

    An example given in DTI Information Security Breaches Survey, which describes an incident in a travel company where an employee used his personal laptop in his workplace resulting all the computers on the network to be infected and three day recovery operation was enforced Furnell (2006). Peacey (2006) states that these kind of threats continue to rise and provides general terms that most organizations are familiar with such as

    • Identity theft
    • Malware.
    • Key logging and Phishing.

    Following are the possible security threats stated by Danesh et al. (2001) that paves the way to security holes that could be beyond the control of corporate department systems.

    • Physical threat to employee's remote PC.
    • Threat to network that is used by employee to access corporate network.
    • Threat to communication channel that is used by the employee.

    Enterprises are required to take additional security measures to counteract these threats even though internal network is protected by employees Peacey (2006).

    Bhagyavati & Hicks (2003) classifies following categories as general threats to computer networks and information system.

    • Accidental.
    • Intentional.
    • Passive and
    • Active

    Accidental threats:

    These threats are due to errors or breakdowns such as, hardware exposure in network routers, switches and other hardware sections; power failures; software failures and natural threats such as floding and fire.

    Intentional threats:

    This type of threat causes major break down or corruption to computer assets. Sabotage is a small virus program that is often transmitted by unsuspicious users and Denial of service (DoS) is another threat that is responsible for failures in service availability. Some examples of DoS threat includes network packet attacks and e-mail spamming that point towards host vulnerabilities.

    Passive & Active threats:

    Passive threats expose confidentiality not the loss of availability or integrity i.e. state of the system is not altered. Whereas in case of Active threats, systems state changes which includes changes to software and data. Trapdoor software and Trojan horses are examples of active threats.

    Security Implications for Teleworkers:

    Data security is the prime concern for teleworkers. Violation of data can occur in following ways.

    • Teleworkers system may be stolen or lost due to their negligence.
    • Information can be viewed by other people when Teleworkers working in public places such as trains, hotels etc...
    • Careless use of passwords and phone numbers. For example, on-line sharing with fraudulent service providers.
    • Teleworkers and employers should make sure that data they send or receive by internet or by disk is virus free because third party can read the transmitted data by employing readily available tools.

    Employers should make teleworkers aware of the regular anti-virus updates and backup procedures in order to maintain data privacy.

    According to Furnell (2006) many teleworkers lack simple skills in maintenance of the software and as stated in online security survey where 63% of the respondents out of 415 participated have required knowledge in protecting their systems from online attacks.

    Barriers in Teleworking Adoption

    "The major barriers identified in telework are more attitudinal in type (". . . I won't allow it because I cannot rely upon my employees to self-manage their working day") rather than substantive and valid reasons for rejecting the potential of introducing greater flexibility through teleworking". (Morgan 2004)

    Daniels et al. (2000) mentions two crucial barriers in teleworking adoption through which trainee telecommuter must succeed

    Adopting the technology

    The first barrier is to learn to adapt to the technology that is used when teleworking. Few telecommuters may be familiar with the overall technology. In many cases, technology used in communicating with different employees, the organization and e-mail software may be new to the teleworker.

    Collaboration

    Teleworkers are comfortable in receiving and sending information electronically, but accurate collaboration that is required for effective team work among teleworkers proves very complicated without ensuring suitable online training.

    These barriers, demands for the techniques in facilitating the learner through different stages combined with the motivation to carry out the tasks. Enablement can be through appropriate design that assists the learner to attain technical ability in simple steps and also with the help of online moderators. The involvement of online moderators can be extremely motivating and this type of intervention can provide great support for many learners. The Face-to-face support is required when the learner experiences problems in operating connections and e-mail system, whereas the problems in spreadsheets, software design etc... can be answered through online instruction or online moderators (Daniels et al. 2000) .

    Work life balance

    The UK government supports enhanced work-life balance and companies are familiar with huge prospects that can be recognized from promoting flexible working patterns in many aspects of their activities Morgan (2004)

    "Large studies indicate that either the population is nearly evenly split between men and women or that more men than women telework" (Cooper & Burke 2002)

    Perez et al. (2003) studies found that there is no common association between genders organization of the work force and family-friendly management. Whereas Handy & Mokhtarian (1996) states that woman who telewoker have high responsibilities at home especially for woman with children when compared to female in-office counterparts and male telecommuters.

    (Baines & Gelder 2003) explains how limited space at home annoyed teleworkers and how business needs conflicted with the family activities such as answering telephone and clients visiting the home, which conflicted with the teenagers in the family. Teleworking from home will be productive when family members are helpful and supportive such as telewoker partner assisting in bookkeeping, answering telephone and preparing invoices and support from their children with IT skills who can access material from internet, word processing etc.. (Baines & Gelder 2003).

    Handy & Mokhtarian (1996) uses the term 'workaholics' as few telecommuters find difficulties in separating their family responsibilities and telework. There is a possibility of increased stress for some telecommutes when compared to their in-office counterparts, due to following reasons.

    • High expectations on telecommuters from management.
    • High expectations from family members may restrict the freedom to work.

    Handy & Mokhtarian (1996) concludes that telework can relive stress for some telecommuters, but not for all teleworkers.

    Telework legislation and regulation

    Health and Safety:

    Employer is responsible for safeguarding the health and safety of their teleworkers. Teleworkers must also take care of their own health and safety and also other people such as family members, visitors and neighbours who may be affected by their work by appropriately utilizing the equipment provided by the employer. Under the administration of Health and Safety at work Regulations 1992, employers are responsible in making appropriate risk assessments of all the work activities performed by their teleworkers.

    Montreuil & Lippel (2003) expresses that prolonged use of computers may lead to eye strains, back, neck, arm, hand problems and headaches, and suggests that it is appropriate to install keyboards and traditional screens whose height can be adjusted by the workers to accommodate to other work equipment and their body.

    Opinions of various Authors on the adoption of teleworking

    From the findings of Bentley & Yoong (2000) indicates that for most part of the time employees prefer to work from office where teleworking can be used as an extra option of working pattern that is done during regular working hours.

    Narvarrete et al. (2002) examined and compared the telecommuting practices in USA and Mexico; the differences between telecommuters in these two countries were based on the following reasons.

    • Performance.
    • Productivity.
    • Satisfaction.
    • Presence of organizational support.

    The authors findings states that telecommuters from both these regions had similar views in their telecommuting performance and satisfaction but differed in productivity. Telecommuters from USA were positive that there productivity increased by adopting teleworking whereas it is totally opposite scenario with Mexican telecommuters who had no believe that teleworking improved their productivity, this surprised authors who considered that use of teleworking in Mexico was higher than USA. The organizational support might be the main reason for positive and negative approach towards teleworking in USA and Mexico respectively.

    Hendrickson and Strader (1998) discussed a case study and concluded that teleworking was successful on a short term basis in one of the software engineering company situated in California because of the following reasons.

    • Instant availability of required teleworking technology.
    • Organization was able to provide flexible working conditions to retain their valuable employees who had the necessary experience in teleworking.
    • The type of job was highly suitable for the employees as they were able to choose the place to work from and the place to live in.

    Masland (2003) concludes "that telecommuting is not for every one because it can be a dream come true for some people, yet for others it can be their worst nightmare". It all depends on the situations and individuals involved in teleworking. Masland believes that the most excellent telecommuters are good at problem solving and require less guidance on teleworking.

    Reference:

    1. Abdel-Wahab, A.G., 2007. Employees' attitudes towards Telecommuting. An empirical investigation in the Egyptian Governorate of Dakahlia. Behav. Inf. Technol., 26(5), 367-375.

    2. Bentley, K. and Yoong, P. (2000), "Knowledge work and telework: an exploratory study", Electronic Networking Applications and Policy, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 346-56.

    3. Beasley, R.E. & Lomo-David, E., 2000. Telecommuting and computing professionals: motivational factors. In Proceedings of the eighth annual consortium on Computing in Small Colleges Rocky Mountain conference. Orem, Utah, United States: Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges, pp. 111-119.

    4. Bhagyavati & Hicks, G., 2003. A basic security plan for a generic organization. J. Comput. Small Coll., 19(1), 248-256.

    5. Bureau, H.L.L.R. & Martin, P., 1992. Telecommuting, DIANE Publishing. Pp37-40

    http://books.google.com/books?id=1jHW-gwlV3gC&pg=PA37&dq=Telecommuting+in+Private+Sectors&lr=#v=onepage&q=&f=false

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