Telecommuting: A Trend Towards the Hoffice

Although telecommuting – defined here as working at home using electronic communications technology linked to the employer’s central office – has been under way in Canadian organizations to varying degrees for some time, it is only in the last few years that it has been formally implemented in some Canadian companies. There is every indication that telecommuting will become much more prevalent in North America during the next ten years. Although there are many advantages for both employer and employee, there are also many potential pitfalls. Not all jobs and not all employees are suitable. Based on a study of telecommuting at Bell Canada and IBM Canada, this paper identifies the types of jobs and employees which are suitable and the advantages and disadvantages for the employer and employee. The author identifies important strategies which will help a telecommuting program to succeed.

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