Teleworking increases productivity by 20 per cent: U.K. survey

Less commute time contributing factor

British Telecom began a telework scheme in 1986 and now has 15,000 teleworkers out of 92,000 employees. The company says these workers save an average of six thousand pounds (C$9,300) per year each, are 20 per cent more productive and take fewer sick days.

"Using teleworking to take work out of the workplace has become very popular and is also a useful way to avoid a laborious commute, balance family commitments and even reduce carbon emissions. As technology becomes more reliable and widely available, this trend can only grow," said John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general.

Almost one-half of all United Kingdom employers (46 per cent) said they offer teleworking to staff, up from 14 per cent three years ago and 11 per cent in 2006, according to the latest CBI/Pertemps Employment Trends Survey.

Employers understand that by using teleworking and conference calling, productivity need not suffer if staff are not in the office, found the survey.

When Telework Association and Wisework surveyed 350 people in the U.K. asking how confident they were about their productivity when working from home, more than one-half said they were definitely sure they were more productive.

Almost all survey respondents said the elimination of commuting was a contributing factor to why productivity increased.

"For the last three decades flexible working has been the principle backbone of the U.K.'s productivity. Our strength has not been achieved solely by efficient plant and machinery but through having a flexible and talented workforce which works to the advantage of both the employee and employer," said Andrew Pearce, CEO of teleconferencing company Powwownow.

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