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Wednesday, 27 September, 2000, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
Should Europe telework?

Mobile technology is making it ever easier for Europeans to work from home or wherever they find themselves, not just the office.

In light of recent events would more people teleworking help get round petrol shortages and the reliance on cars?

Is teleworking the future for Europe?

At a telework conference in London, Europe Today's Mark Reid brought together John Adams, Professor of Geography at University College London, and a teleworker from Freiburg, Volker Krieger, who's head of virtual central account management with Swiss business infrastructure systems specialists, Sulzer Infra.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

The need to take over a tonne of metal and probably only one person from home to office or station is getting less and less. Virtual working individually and in teams with occasional meetings rather than being the norm must be the way ahead in the information age. Why can't governments invest in large digital pipes as infrastructure like they did for motorways which dramatically increased traffic.
Nic Jefferis, UK

I think that teleworking is an excellent idea

Dr. S, UK
I think that teleworking is an excellent idea. If people were willing to work from home, then there would be less congestion and I would get to my office with ease.
Dr. S, UK

I find it ironic that the world has gone full circle from working at home 200 years ago to back working at home with the aid of technology and I feel that many corporate management models will have to change to enable this to be successful.
Mark Lisle, Germany

Whether I work at home or in the office, I dedicate the same intensity of effort. It takes some getting used to, especially with children running around, but it can be done. Others have written of office socialising, though, and I think that that is a very important component of our work life; not just for its own sake, but because one picks up so much about the job itself and keep current on the professional thinking of others. Basically, we all feed off each other which contributes to the growth of all.
Mark M. Newdick, USA/ UK

You can work yourself too hard as you feel on call 24 hours a day

Jen, UK
I would love to work from home for a few days a week and travel in for the others. I think that teleworking has a lot to offer given all the problems of a modern society. However, it has its drawbacks. You miss out on general office interaction and you can work yourself too hard as you feel on call 24 hours a day, but despite this I think governments should offer incentives to employers who encourage home working.
Jen, UK

I would not describe teleworking fulltime as dangerous, but would say it requires a strict control. I work for a German company on projects fulltime from home, during the life of a particular project. I have made sure to set aside a separate room for this work to make sure it has become a separate life to my entertainment. I have also had to make a schedule to make sure I take time out for myself, to make sure I don't become a crazy person.
This all works very well for me, but took a lot of dedication at first to bring it about. I don't think it is the way for many people however, you obviously miss out on the office chat, celebrations, lunches etc. But you gain by having time in your control.
Nick Miles, UK

Intercommunication between people on the job doesn't necessarily have to occur in person and many jobs are completed using a computer interface anyway

A Smyth, USA
Intercommunication between people on the job doesn't necessarily have to occur in person and many jobs are completed using a computer interface anyway. So the location for the worker in space doesn't have to be confined to the company' s office space. Plus this could be a way for companies to decrease costs involved with office space rental and such.
Society will logically utilise the growing speed and advantages the microprocessor revolution and internet have to offer and that means working from home. Plus its environmentally green to not have to have employees travel to work and it lessons the strain upon highway/transport systems.
Also increased revenues could be created for the cultural environment and nightlife from people working the hours that best suits their life and their desire to get out of the house.
A Smyth, USA

I find teleworking a blessing. It means I can work in peace, away from day-to-day distractions and complete tasks with the minimum of interruptions. It allows me to create time and achieve other household tasks when otherwise I would not be able to do them - all at the same time.
Simon, UK

If teleworking is applied only 1-2 days a week, I think that it is a very efficient way of working. Group the tasks that need high concentration and work them through your couple for days teleworking. The rest of the week should be devoted on all the rest of the issues that need to be resolved. Full time teleworking is dangerous. Socialising during work hours is a very important factor. If you cut that out just watch your efficiency go down the drain after few weeks.
Nicos, UK

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18 Feb 99 | Sci/Tech
Triumph of the teleworker
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