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Telework: Towards the Elusive Office

Telework: Towards the Elusive Office

Ursula Huws, Werner B. Korte, Simon Robinson

ISBN: 978-0-470-86626-9

Feb 1991

292 pages

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Telework Towards the Elusive Office Ursula Huws, Werner B. Korte and Simon Robinson for Empirica Since the early seventies the concept of telework has been popularised and sensationalised by futurologists and the media. Usually, but not always, portrayed idealistically, telework continues to be a subject of interest to both the practitioner and the academic world. By examining and interpreting the results of three major European surveys, this book moves away from the journalistic approach of earlier work and demonstrates a thorough understanding of the present reality of telework and it's likely future. In addition it draws on a wealth of empirical evidence to present a critical, objective and rigorous analysis of the economic, social and legal faces of telework from the perspectives of the individual worker and the policy analyst as well as the organizational manager. Early predictions may have been simplistic and overstated, but managers and workers cannot afford to ignore the implications of a technology which is becoming both cheaper and more widely available. The office is ceasing to be a fixed geographical space and becoming instead a web of relationships held together by telecommunication networks. Although full-time homeworking may never become a reality for the majority of people, we are moving into the era of the elusive office and few jobs will be entirely unaffected. For all those interested in telework—employers, employees, consultants, managers, computer professionals, as well as academics and researchers—this book will provide essential reading. Reviews of the hardback edition ‘… a valuable and comprehensive addition to the debate on future patterns of work.’ Computer Bulletin ‘… a detailed and studious book. It tackles the subject from all angles—the organisation and management of telework, the legal aspects, the economics and how it feels for the teleworkers.’ Telecom World
Series Foreword.


A Note of the Literature on Telework.

Introduction—What Is Telework?

Telework in the General Context of Office Automation.

The Organization and Management of Telework.

The Economics of Telework.

Telework and the Law.

How It Feels—The Human Aspects of Telework.

The Tasks Involved in Telework.

The Empirica Telework Survey—I.

Telework in 14 European Companies.

The Empirica Telework Survey—II.

Results of the Survey.

The Demand for Telework—An Empirica Survey of Decision Makers in Europe.

The Supply of Telework—An Empirica Survey of Employees in Europe.

Forecasting Future Developments.

Telework and Social and Economic Change.

Appendix A: Empirica Telework urvey.

Appendix B: Demographic Characteristics of all Teleworkers in the Sample of Teleworking Organisations.

Appendix C: Major Reasons for Telework Inception on a Case-by-Case Basis.

Appendix D: Teleworkers' Perception of Advantages and Disadvantages of Teleworking.

Appendix E: Types of IT and Telecommunications Networks used in Telework Schemes.

Appendix F: Results of a Factor Analysis on the Respondent's Structure of Satisfaction with Teleworking.

Appendix G: Sampling and Weighting Procedures for the Empirica Survey of Decision Makers.

Appendix H: Structure of the Employed People Survey.

Appendix I: Weighting of Data in Empirica's Employed People Survey.

Appendix J: Socio-economic and Demographic Factors Considered in the Analysis of the Survey of Employed People.