Like Marmite, teleworking tends to be something you either love or hate.
Those that love it see remote working as a way of saving time, money and the planet. Those that hate it believe it devalues the work experience and, by enabling employees to slip out from under the management net, a threat to productivity.
Thanks to the Olympics, however, teleworking has now gained official government endorsement with UK Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, calling on London-based employees to work from home during the 2012 event to ease congestion in the capital.
The public sector is clearly expected to lead the way, with the Department for Transport
asking for as many Whitehall staff as possible to utilise remote access technology during the event. As a result some 40 per cent of civil servants are predicted to be working from home over the course of the games, with new monitoring systems planned to ensure productivity is maintained. Moreover, if it’s good enough for Whitehall – or so the argument goes – then it’s good enough for the private sector, with the assumption that others will follow suit.
OK, it’s not entirely altruistic and very much a single-issue initiative with no mention of any of the other advantages of teleworking. Neither is there any indication as to whether it will be continued once the tracks have been dug up and the athletes have gone home. But it’s a start and, if nothing else, will help focus attention on the technologies involved and the benefits to be had beyond making it easier to get to those all-important beach volleyball matches.
This article is written by Alan Stevens and sponsored by Avaya. The opinions reflected in this piece are solely those of Alan Stevens and may not reflect those of Avaya management