The Herman Trend Alert|
January 19, 2005
Interest in Telecommuting Rising Internationally
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Telecommuting is increasing in popularity---among workers and employers---on a local, national, and international basis---at least during part of their work week. People work for local companies, for employers across their country, and for employers in other countries.
Netilla Networks recently surveyed commuters at London’s Liverpool Street Station and New York’s Penn Station. Seventy percent of those interviewed felt their productivity would rise if offered flexible/home working. And 64 percent indicated they would feel more loyalty toward their employer. An astonishing 90 percent believed a choice to work flexibly---from home or office---was the ideal strategy for employers and employees. Flexibility of work site is clearly an idea whose time has come.
Although the average commute of survey participants was two hours per day, most said they would not want to work at home full time: 80 percent shared that they would miss the social aspects of worklife. Of the UK workers surveyed, 52 percent said flexibility would influence their next choice of an employer, similar to United States numbers. In an Epsom study, 81% of UK workers chose “reducing stress” as their reason to work from home. Across the UK, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy, an average of 73% of workers thought home working would reduce stress.
According to the European Union's Emergence Project, by 2010 27 million Europeans will work from home with the UK leading the field. By 2005, eight million are projected to work at home, compared to 2.2 million in 2001.
The studies suggest that a majority of managers claim to be comfortable with employees’ flexible working arrangements, but are clueless about working environments outside the office or why people work remotely. While 77 percent of employees claim that remote working improves job satisfaction and productivity, three-quarters of managers do not have a good understanding of why staff would choose to work remotely, according to a University of the West of England /Johnson Controls report.
Research suggests that France (43%) and the UK (48%) had the lowest levels of home working in the five European countries studied; Germany came top with 60%.
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