writes "As a UK-based IT worker living about a 90-minute journey from London, I am interested in the idea of working from home, or teleworking. In the UK, however, the take-up of this practice has been less than frantic. My own immediate plan is to find work at home here in the UK, however my ultimate aim would be to find employment, which gives me the freedom to live where I choose. What barriers exist to working in the UK for a non-UK (e.g. US) employer. What about a UK citizen living outside the UK working for a UK or US employer? (Feel free to substitute your country of residence)"
"The arguments will probably be familiar to most here, but I will state them anyway, just to be sure you know how I'm thinking.
Advantages for me:
Advantages for my employer:
- Save journey time of 3 hours per day
- Save travel expenses
- Save travel frustration (delays, crowds, mobile phone idiocy, etc.)
- Be fresh and alert when I start work
- Feel better at the end of the working day
- Be at work promptly each day
- Work in a pleasant/relaxed environment
- Ready access to my (large) technical library
Advantages for society:
- Cost savings
- Office space savings
- Improved productivity
- Increased motivation
There are a number of disadvantages and factors to consider, though none should be insurmountable. A couple might be:
- Reduced traffic congestion
- Reduction in total travel and therefore pollution
The above illustrates that some take-up of the teleworking approach would be in the everybody's interests, but I am frustrated at the lack of good quality resources I have been able to find on the subject. There seems to be plenty available explaining the concept, but very little in the way of actual assignments or contacts. Of course I may have been looking in the wrong places, so if you know better (and I hope you do), please share.
- Employer needs to monitor quantity and quality of work performed
- Internet connectivity (mine currently limited to 56Kb)
It would be interesting to hear both from employers who support (or would support) this model, and from employees who have successfully negotiated employment at home.
In general, have your experiences been positive? If you have had problems, how have they been resolved? And now that the technology has been available for at least 10 years, will teleworking
ever take off in the UK?"