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17 October 2019
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Teleworking rises to Olympic challenge

Generic - man on laptop remote working
Working on the run, saving time and money
1 August 2012

Around 80 per cent of London businesses offer some form of teleworking to their employees, according to a new report.

The move has also saved businesses money, according to the report titled Changing the way we work – The role teleworking can play in how, when and where we work. A quarter of businesses saw a reduction in annual costs of between £3,000 and £100,000 due to teleworking.

The practice of working away from the office, either from home or a public location (such as a coffee shop or library) is also known as 'home', 'mobile' or 'flexible' working.

The research, from recruitment specialists Harvey Nash and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, found that allowing employees to work away from the office can bring numerous benefits to a business.

Nearly half of participants said teleworking meant that work was undertaken more quickly and 29 per cent believed that it improved the quality of an employee's work.  
"The Olympics provides the perfect opportunity for businesses to test out teleworking and what it can bring to a business,” said Albert Ellis, chief executive of Harvey Nash.
"However, as more and more companies embrace flexible working practises, we need to ensure that we have the infrastructure, such as high-speed broadband, in place to ensure that businesses aren't limited in what they are trying to achieve by technological concerns."

The 20-page report advises businesses on teleworking best practice, including making sure  staff are trained in managerial skills, and suggesting that higher apprenticeships in management and leadership could improve the success of teleworking.

The report found that the majority of companies offer teleworking as and when needed, although they do not usually have a formal policy on it.

Workers in smaller companies (1-19 employees) and bigger companies (500+ employees) do the most remote working; also, the more senior your role, the more likely it is you will work remotely.

Better work-life balance (reported by 54 per cent of interviewees) and reduced stress levels (43 per cent) are the main practical benefits of implementing teleworking, as well as increased employee satisfaction (51 per cent) and work being completed more quickly (46 per cent).

However, there were reported feelings of isolation and loneliness among those working from home, and a reported lack of social interaction (29 per cent).

There was also an increase in the actual number of working hours (25 per cent), technological glitches (25 per cent) and deterioration in communication (24 per cent).