This is a voluntary framework, which will protect the employees that are telecommuting, and inform them of their rights as employees.

There maybe aspects within this charter, that the employer may keep to themselves to reduce the power that the employee has. BBC Pilot’s Home-Working Many firms are now starting to offer home-based working opportunities to their staff as demands for more flexible arrangements have grown. BBC News is currently running a pilot scheme where 17 employees, including journalists, correspondents and producers, a management accountant and a documentary-maker all work from home.Geoff Adams-Spink, project manager for the scheme said: “It is very popular with staff. They are happier, use their time more productively, and are less stressed. They are saving money commuting and are able to spend more time with their families. “Good information technology support is absolutely crucial to the success of any home working scheme. It can make or break it.

“It is also vital to make sure that staff, do not overwork and that the equipment they are using at home is safe. ” BBC decided not to continue with the project after the pilot scheme was completed as they found the costs involved were too high (www.bbc.com)British Gas Call centre workers from British Gas have joined the Automobile Association’s telework programme. Around 25 employees of British Gas Services, which shares the same parent company as the AA – US-based energy supplier Centrica- now work from home on a full-time basis answering customer enquiries. Teleworking at the AA started in 1997 with a pilot involving 10 call-handling staff based near the organisation’s Leeds call centre.

By the end of 1998 the success of the pilot had boosted the number of teleworkers to 25 with plans for a total of 150.In April 1999, shortly before its demutualisation and acquisition by Centrica, the AA decided to close the Leeds call centre, but to carry on with the teleworking programme. The staff based at the centre was given priority for the 125 teleworking posts, but most took voluntary redundancy. The remarkable productivity of the teleworkers in the pilot – measured at between 37% and 45% higher than normal call handlers, has settled back at a still creditable 30% but this was one of the factors that convinced Centrica to carry on with the programme.Another was the low turnover rate among home-based staff of 5% a year, half the AA’s normal rate and one fifth of the average rate for UK call centre agents.

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Telework Continues to Grow A June press release from the Office for National Statistics says that there were over 2 million teleworkers in the UK in spring 2002, about one in fourteen of all those in employment. The release says “There has been a dramatic increase in the number of teleworkers – up by between 65 and 70 per cent over the period 1997-2001”. 5.

0 CONCLUSIONIn conclusion, it is difficult to anticipate the future impact of telecommuting, although it seems that telecommuting can offer the employee an efficient solution in the search for a more balanced and satisfying lifestyle, and can contribute to an improvement in the quality of work and family life as well. In general, it seems that the advantages of telecommuting outweigh the disadvantages, although before this can be concluded, more systematic research needs to be done on the different aspects related to the phenomenon.The increase in teleworking in the past year has been proportionally greater among women (at 24%) than men (at 17%) The fastest-expanding teleworking occupation is management, with an increase of 25% in managers working from home  Growth has been especially strong in the financial services sector which has seen an increase of 34% in teleworking.  Despite an overall decline of 1% in the numbers of clerical workers in the British workforce, there has been a 12% increase in clerical teleworkingThe 21% increase in working at home has been somewhat greater than that in multi-location working from a home base, which increased by 15% over the year. Teleworking is increasing more rapidly amongst employees (at 22%) than the self-employed (at 15%).

The self-employed now make up only 44% of teleworkers, compared with 46% in 1999 and 48% in 1998. This is in line with the general decline in self-employment in the United Kingdom, which fell by 2. 3% in a year in which employment as a whole grew by 1. 3%.