Teleworking, virtual teams, home working contracts. portfolio jobs - all being discussed today on BBC Radio 4's lunchtime consumer programme, You and Yours.
Some of the interesting view points being expressed:
is working from home making some people a slave to the technology that connects them to work?
What is the future for Trade Unions?
Teleworking is environmentally friendly.........one woman reduced her annual mileage from 25,000 to just 5,000
Successful home working arrangements depend on clear measurements of productivity (outputs) rather than hours of attendance, and requires enlightened employers!
Homeworkers suffer the "petty jealousy" of office-bound colleagues;
This sort of flexible arrangement cannot apply to farm workers, facory operatives, hotel receptionists etc who need to be in the workplace - so are they being disadvantaged?
There is a noble history of people working from their garden sheds - including Dylan Thomas!
Teleworking only applies to highly skilled knowledge workers.....?
Flexibility can also mean a blurring of boundaries - extending work beyond 5pm and beyond conventional retirement age
I am encouraged that this subject is being debated on a popular programme.
I have recently come across one Human Resources department for whom the concept of home working challenges current organisational policies - resulting in long drawn out "discussions" and delays in staff being paid.
The very notion that a member of staff was not turning up daily to a specified place of work to do their job was simply unthinkable to the HR professionals involved - and as the organisation in question is envisaging a future where delivering their services via technology is the norm, this mismatch between business strategy and employment policy needs to be addressed urgently!