Joint ILO-Eurofound report reflects the impact of Telework on the world of work

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Eurofound published a joint
report entitled ‘Working anytime, anywhere: The effects on the world of work'.

The study identifies several types of employees using new technologies to work
outside the employer's premises, including regular home-based teleworkers,
workers performing occasional telework and ICT-mobile work (T/ICTM). The report
highlights a number of positive effects of T/ICTM work, such as greater working
time autonomy leading to more flexibility in terms of working time
organization, and reduced commuting time resulting in a better overall
work-life balance and higher productivity. It also identifies several
disadvantages such as a tendency to work longer hours, and an overlap between
paid work and personal life - which can lead to high levels of stress. The
report draws clear distinctions between home-based teleworkers who seem to
enjoy better work-life balance and ‘high-mobile' workers who are more at risk
of negative health and well-being outcomes.

The report provides recommendations in order to address this disparity, such as
promoting formal part-time teleworking to help teleworkers maintain ties with
their co-workers and improve worker well-being, while restricting informal and
supplemental T/ICTM work involving long working hours.

Currently only the EU has an overall framework to adapt to digital change on
telework, with the European Framework Agreement on Telework. However, most
existing initiatives are related to formal, home-based telework, while problems
seem to be more recurrent with informal, occasional T/ICTM work.

As telework becomes more prominent so too has the need to disconnect in order
to separate paid work and personal life, with France and Germany beginning to
look at arrangements at the company level, and at existing and new legislation,
such as the "right to be disconnected” (le droit à la déconnexion) in the most
recent revision of the French Labour Code. In the future this may result in
concrete measures to make working life less pervasive, such as shutting down
computer servers outside working hours in order to prevent emails during rest
times and holidays, which is already happening in some companies.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: International Labour Organisation (ILO)