DEESD IST-2000-28606 Digital Europe: ebusiness and sustainable development

Telework and sustainable development A case study with the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI)
Final Report, April 2003
conducted by:

Karl Otto Schallaböck & Iris Utzmann, Wuppertal Institute Vidhya Alakeson & Britt Jorgensen, Forum for the Future

This report constitutes the final version of the case study ‘Telework and sustainable development’ - part of Deliverable 12 (D12) of the project DEESD – Digital Europe: e-business and sustainable development

Project funded by the European Community under the “Information Society Technology” Programme (1998-2002)

Table of Contents
1. 2. READER’S GUIDE ...........................................................................................................1 DEFINITIONS AND CLASSIFICATION..............................................................................2 2.1 DEFINITION OF TELEWORK .................................................................................................2 2.2 KINDS OF TELEWORK AND THEIR GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS ..................................................3 2.2.1 Home-based telework...........................................................................................3 2.2.2 Office-based telework...........................................................................................4 2.2.3 Mobile telework ....................................................................................................4 2.2.4 On-site telework ...................................................................................................5 2.2.5 Work in telecentres...............................................................................................5 2.3 DEFINITIONS USED BY ECATT............................................................................................6 3. SPREAD OF TELEWORK.................................................................................................8 3.1 CURRENT SPREAD OF TELEWORK IN EUROPE........................................................................8 3.2 EXPERIENCE OF GESI-PARTNERS ......................................................................................9 3.2.1 Telework ..............................................................................................................9 3.2.2 Teleconferencing ...............................................................................................10 3.3 ADDITIONAL DATA ..........................................................................................................10 3.3.1 Telework ............................................................................................................10 3.3.2 Teleconferencing ...............................................................................................11 3.4 POTENTIALS FOR THE FUTURE .........................................................................................11 3.4.1 Telework ............................................................................................................11 3.4.2 Teleconferencing ...............................................................................................13 4. TRANSPORT IMPACTS AND CHANGES........................................................................17 4.1 GENERAL APPROACH .....................................................................................................17 4.1.1 Transport saving ................................................................................................17 4.1.2 Rebound effects by adaptation..........................................................................19 4.1.3 Reasonable layout for telework ..........................................................................20 4.2 DETAILED ANALYSIS .......................................................................................................22 4.2.1 Experience from individual cases........................................................................22 4.2.2 Collected studies................................................................................................23 4.2.3 Macro data.........................................................................................................26 4.3 MODEL CALCULATIONS....................................................................................................30 4.3.1 Home-based telework: best case........................................................................30 4.3.2 Home-based telework: worst case ......................................................................32 4.3.3 Teleconferencing ...............................................................................................35 4.3.4 Mobile telework: Additional benefits from travel time ...........................................36 5. SOCIAL ASPECTS AND CHANGES SOCIAL ASPECTS AND CHANGES.......................37 5.1 HUMAN CAPITAL IN THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY...................................................................38 5.2 SOCIAL CAPITAL, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND TELEWORK ...............................................38 5.3 WORK/LIFE BALANCE......................................................................................................39 5.3.1 Work and family..................................................................................................39 5.3.2 Community involvement and social life................................................................40 5.3.3 Interrole conflict and working hours ....................................................................40 5.4 WORKING FROM HOME ...................................................................................................42 5.4.1 Isolation and social capital .................................................................................42 5.4.2 Performance ......................................................................................................43

Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI

5.4.3 Learning ............................................................................................................44 5.5 CORPORATE SOCIAL CAPITAL............................................................................................45 5.6 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TELEWORK ................................................................................46 5.7 TELEWORK AND WORK IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY .................................................................50 6. 7. EVALUATION AND DEDUCTIONS..................................................................................52 RECOMMENDATIONS....................................................................................................55



3.2 3.survey.1 2.2 2. 7. 4. APPENDIX 2 supplements some empirical data from selected experiences with telework and APPENDIX 3 gives in-depth analysis of overall transport development since 1991 by transport purposes and by means of transportation. 5. Deals with the spread of telework in Europe Shows the current spread Describes the experience of GeSI partner companies Points at some additional experiences Discusses the future potentials Deals with the transport aspects and changes Discusses some general aspects Adds the analysis on the experience so far Discusses some model perspectives for the future Deals with the social aspects and changes Focuses on the social aspects of telework at a micro level Focuses on the social aspects of telework at a European level Collects deductions Articulates recommendations for business. Explains the definition of telework used in this report Discusses the main kinds of telework and their characteristics Introduces the definitions used by the EcaTT. Table 1-1: The structure of the report. Deals with the definition and classifications of telework. three appendices are attached. using macro data.1 3. 1 . APPENDIX 1 adds a synopsis of the answers given by the industry partners from the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI). Chapter Description of content 2. 2.3 3.2 4.1 4.2 6.3 5.1 5. The report is structured according to the table below.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 1. policy and academics Additionally.3 3. Reader’s Guide The following report provides an overview of telework definitions and classifications and presents findings relating to the environmental (here: transport) and social impacts of telework.4 4.

” (European Commission. and changes of location that have been brought about by information and communication technologies (ICT). in particular the Internet. From a transport and social perspective. from production plants and government offices to private homes and coffee shops. Figure 2-1: Main areas for potential spatial work shifts Source: Wuppertal Institute. the use of ICT as a new work tool should only be defined as telework where there is an accompanying change in the location of work. and when work is done using information technology and technology for data transmission. Telework has two essential characteristics: • • Work that is carried out away from the designated place of work The change in location is made possible by the use of modern ICT Work has always taken place in a variety of locations. Research conducted by the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg identified several dozen definitions of the term telework in Germany alone. 2001b). Any discussion of telework must differentiate between types of work and new working patterns. Definitions and classification 2.1 Definition of telework The definitions of telework are many and varied. The European Commission defines telework or ework as: “a method of organising and/or performing work in which a considerable proportion of an employee’s working time is: away from the firm’s premises or where the output is delivered. 2002 2 . it is the change of location that is important rather than the use of ICT. Therefore.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 2.

so the short summary on „Telework in the United States: Telework America Survey 2001“ starts: „The influence of working at home on productivity is important to organizations considering the move to telework. On the other hand.telecommute. Similarly. It is important to differentiate between home-based work and home-based telework. Working at home has been well established for many years and the use of office equipment such as faxes and computers has necessarily been a part of home-based working.2 Kinds of telework and their general characteristics 2. (note: telecentres are special units for ICT-based telework which are not under the control of one specific firm. ICT applications which contribute only marginally to work flow would not be included. This covers new possibilities for freelancers and new jobs specifically based on ICT like (home-based) hotlines and similar services. Work where modern ICTs have created the possibility of home-based working. it may seem unconvincing to set the development of mobile telecommunications apart from earlier innovations. In addition. the telephone was established long before the term ICT became widely used.2. Some difficulties arise in relation to the use of telecommunications. from July 7. if ICT is used to a very limited extent and on a more or less occasional basis.1 Home-based telework The possibility of working from home generates considerable interest. if possible access to a particular ICT service is limited but decisive in enabling telework. 2002 3 . • 1 Sometimes home-based telework is not taken as telework at all. the telecopy technologies evolved. etc. some or all of the time. www. This type of home-based work can be considered part of telework. this activity would not be included in the definition of regular telework.2. International Telework Association & Council. bearing in mind the likely range of future services. Mechanical components were replaced by electronic components at the central switching centres. This kind of home-based work does not fit into the current definition of“ In: ITAC. ICT creates the opportunity for a more significant number of people to work from home. this should be included. although ICT may be used. it is taken to represent the full extent of telework options1. It is possible to differentiate between the following types of home-based work: • Work that traditionally takes place in the home whose location is not dependent on ICT. Of course. At times.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Figure 2-1 shows primary work locations and the main opportunities for shifts in work location. Opinion may change. These main areas for spatial shifts will be described in more detail in Section 2. Technological innovation has been a constant feature of the telecommunications sector. but are used by employees from different enterprises). It opens up the possibility of a major transformation in working and living conditions with advantages for individuals. In this context. However. families and business. 2.

Some studies refer to this as supplementary telework. However. and allows immediate contact. • • 2.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI • Work where a part of the job has traditionally been completed at home. Alternate teleworking – between home and company premises . the specific term “webconferences” is sometimes used. supplementary telework is too marginal to be taken into account in this report. It also facilitates greater contact than may be possible if physical travel is required. In addition to regular telework. computers have become smaller and lighter and gained much of the functionality of desktop PCs. cf. In the case of some tasks completed on the move. look very promising. announced at the WinHEC in April 2002 by OQO. the internet and other modern devices. Today’s laptops can be used as all-purpose computers. ICT is used but is not 2 A full function 250 g computer based on Transmeta´s 1 GHz Crusoe with VGA touchscreen and ready for MS Windows XP prof. However. future research should investigate the options and challenges presented by such technologies since they may significantly alter overall work flows. videoconferencing and web-based conferencing This may include examples where some participants are restricted to an audio channel or to written contributions transmitted by the web. a San Francisco based company. 2. The opportunities for mobile work either on location or during travel have expanded enormously. In the intervening years.oqo. teleconferencing has the potential to avoid many miles of travel. From a transport perspective.2. ICT allows many people to work at home on an occasional basis.and videoconferences according to the study in question. telemaintaining and similar processes using remote access and control technologies are not often considered to be part of telework. In this case study. The main points of interest 4 . New part-time work at home facilitated by computers and the internet are the focus of the recent telework discussion. The telephone and teleconferencing have been established for many years. teleconferencing applies to both audio. This case study focuses particularly on this type of telework and defines regular home-based telework as working at least one day a week at home.3 Mobile telework Mobile use of ICT has been prominent since the early days of personal computing: think of the famous Osborne and Kaypro computers. But this is not considered telework since the focus of the respective work has not changed substantially. the crucial question is whether traditional procedures are being substituted by technological innovations.generates new possibilities. www. The use of telecontrolling. This increasingly includes the use of computers. therefore.2. There is limited evidence in this area and discussion in this case study will not go into depth. ICT may allow for an extension of such traditional part-time work at home. such as the OQO2 and others.2 Office-based telework By replacing business trips. arguing that supplementary teleworkers are potential future teleworkers. In addition. for the second half 2002. such as teachers and managers. Improvements will follow a rapid growth curve and fresh concepts for even smaller and/or poweful devices.

Linz and Graz. 3 Gareis and Korte. 2. Work location will be less significant than the option to work in different places. similar to the ones installed at Zurich. Definitions will become more problematic in the future.5 Work in telecentres The concept of telecentres has featured in debate for several years and is potentially interesting in certain situations. traditional forms of on-site work should not be included within the definition of telework. a conference centre or hotel. such venues would support the use of personal equipment and provide data storage. Such facilities may prove necessary to meet professional demands. On-site work facilitated by ICT refers to the use of office systems by remote connection from a client’s premises. Tokyo 1999 This article rates distinguished telework-centres ”utterly useless“ in the contribution to ETO´s current eWORK 2000 status report. the terms of reference are changing rapidly as telework and work itself evolve. Of course. Proceedings of the Fourth International Telework Workshop.2. cf. Frankfurt and Munich airports. but it is unlikely to become a widespread form of telework. p. 2. The overhead costs of a mini-office would be much lower than a conventional telecentre with dedicated dispatching and service personnel. the current use of mobile telephones for standard telephone calls or for restricted services like Short Message System (SMS) can be considered a standard work practice rather than specific to telework.4 On-site telework As in the case of home-based telework.4 Small units outsourced to privately run offices may prove more popular than telecentres. Many tasks completed on-site will now use ICT equipment but they are not facilitated by ICT. The falling price of computer hardware and the growth of internet connection points in public places means we are likely to lose interest in telecentres. However. July 2002. Indeed. for example. Easy internet access with additional services in hotels and possibly other venues may prove popular given greater mobility. more complicated tasks such as writing reports or preparing presentations are supported by ICT to the extent that it makes sense to include such activities within a definition of mobile telework. Aero International. In the future. 21 5 . wireless internet access and the growth of a variety of net-based services may further weaken the traditional significance of location. recent announcements indicate growing interest in and spread of such facilities.2. safe connections and some privacy for optical and acoustic displays. it can be difficult to make the distinction between tasks which use ICT and those only made possible by the use of ICT. is now installing WLAN hot spots at airports in Salzburg. Reading a newspaper from a PDA is effectively the same as reading a paper copy. 4 The Austrian access provider Metronet. However.3 Two related concepts may enjoy greater take-up. The convergence of telephone and computer services will provide new devices for work as well as for leisure.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI essential. Overall. In contrast to internet cafes.

Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 2. 2) working from home (or do not have a central workplace). The survey gives an overview of the current and potential future spread of telework in Europe and forms the basis of chapter 4 of the current eWork status report by the European Commission6. 9 6 . Ireland. 3) communicate with external contacts via e-mail. p. beginning in spring 1999. Germany. Korte: Telework in Europe: Status Quo and Potential. Sweden and the UK. Bonn. the Netherlands. see above) derived from answers to: 1) out and about for 10 or more hours per week. shared databases or videoconferencing those who say they practise telework but do so for less than 1 working day per week mobile telework Frequent business travel using information and communication technology at a temporary or mobile workplace Small office/home office Telework of self-employed whose main workplace is their (SOHO) office at home Additional: Supplementary telework Home-based telework which is exclusively carried out in addition to work in the office workplace 5 Empirica GmbH (2000): benchmarking telework in Europe 1999. 7 Empirica.ten countries in comparison . As the concepts and definitions used in the survey differ from those developed above. population survey. The 10 countries were Denmark. Finland. France. Empirica GmbH (2000): Benchmarking Progress on new ways of working and new forms of business across Europe. they are represented in detail in the table below (table 2-1) and will be discussed when interpreting the results. Italy. Status Report on New Ways to Work in the Information Society. Good Practice and Bad Practice. Auswertung des ”Decision Maker Survey (DMS)“. Empirica GmbH (2000): Telework data report (population survey) . excluding those who do not work at home for at least one full day per week including: permanent work including: alternating telework Telework in the stricter sense: those home-based teleworkers form of home-based telework who practise telework for at least where work is constantly carried 90 per cent of their working time out in the home Work at home alternates with presence in a central office those home-based teleworkers who practise telework for less than 90 per cent of their working time (but on at least one full working day per week. Bonn. Chapter 4 in: European Union (eds): eWork using telephone. file transfer. op. Table 2-1: ECaTT definitions of different kinds of telework Organisational form Definition 7 Operationalisation in ECaTT home-based telework The place of Telework is the living environment of the employee working at home. electronic version via www. In the following referred to as ECaTT survey 2001 6 Karsten Gareis and Werner B.5 For the study 7700 people and 4158 establishments in 10 European countries were questioned about telework. 2) using online links while travelling derived from answers to: 1) selfemployed (or those who have extensive management powers). Bonn. Final Report.cit.eto.3 Definitions used by ECaTT The Electronic Commerce and Telework Trends (ECaTT) study was carried out by Empirica. fax and computer.

neither work in telecentres nor office-based telework (teleconferencing. it is crucial to differentiate between changes in work location due to the development of ICT. and traditional home-based working. the type of mobile working included in the definition is not specified. The rationale behind the supplementary telework category is to identify potential future teleworkers. On the one hand. writing. the exclusion of teleconferencing limits the scope of the study to a greater extent. while supplementary telework is additional. These definitions differ from those outlined in Section 2. could easily be turned into “real teleworkers”. 7 . and “using online links while travelling” does not define the kind. From a transport perspective. As a result.2. mobile telework while travelling. On the other hand. which is not dependent on online connections (such as for example reading. the interpretation of the given figures is rather unclear. Furthermore in contrast to the definitions given in Section 2. The term “10 or more hours out” only earmarks the importance of mobility within the overall work context. This distinction can be overlooked.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI The main forms of telework constitute “regular telework”. Those who say they already work at home. telemaintaining) are considered by ECaTT. working with data on a mobile PC) is excluded from the definition.2 (Definitions and Classification) of this paper as follows: The ECaTT definition of home-based telework includes traditional forms of telework. While ECaTT may be justified in excluding telecentres due to their limited significance. Other significant differences concern the definition of mobile telework. number or duration of online activities.

Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 3.000 49 per cent self-employed in SOHO 37.562. Germany had the greatest number of teleworkers. as well as in the Netherlands.273.000 536.000 234. Then the experience of the answering companies from the Global sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and selected other projects will be characterised.000 207.1 Current spread of telework in Europe The ECaTT-survey can be seen as the most relevant source for an overall inspection of the spread of telework in Europe.000 520.000 26.000 272.000 90.687.000 1.000 499.000 61.000 593.000 270.000 313. the main results of the ECaTT survey of current teleworkers in Europe are shown. figure 3-1.000 2.000 45.515.000 550.000 4.5 million teleworkers. cf. ahead of the UK.000 630.000 538.000 1.000 23 per cent mobile telework 56. 3.000 2.000 229.000 65.000 285.000 166. It was estimated that the 10 surveyed countries accounted for a total of 5.000 14.000 8. The penetration of telework in each country in relation to the labour force gives a different perspective from the absolute numbers.000 47. Finally the future potentials are discussed.000 90.000 142.000 1. The percentages for different types of telework can be seen from the following table 3-1.257.000 38 per cent any kind of regular telework 176.000 32.000 315.000 308.000 110 per cent The classification of the home-based teleworkers and the self-employed in SOHOs are unambiguous. while this is not the case for mobile teleworkers (mobile teleworkers may at the same time practise home-based telework or work as self-employed teleworkers in SOHOs).100. For an overview it is essential to look at absolute (numbers of teleworkers) and relative (percentage of labour force) figures.000 162.000 182. Penetration is particularly high in the Scandinavian countries.000 584. Spread of telework In the following section. In contrast to the absolute figures.000 5.000 55. Table 3-1: Types of regular telework: absolute numbers Home-based telework Denmark Finland France Germany Ireland Italy Netherlands Spain Sweden UK EU 10 (absolute) EU 10 (percentages) 121. 8 .000 259. Great Britain and Germany lie somewhere in the middle.

who have mobile net access. A smaller number of employees can be defined as typical full or part time home workers. and some are ahead. they are at least keeping pace with Europe-wide progress on telework. they are interested in pioneering solutions within their own companies that highlight the benefits of telework. For a number of employees no fixed offices are provided. from convenient company offices. 3.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 12 teleworkers in % 10 8 6 4 2 Netherlands Denmark Finland Sweden Germany France Ireland Spain UK 0 countries Figure 3-1: Regular teleworkers in per cent of labour force Source: ECaTT. As the results demonstrate.2 Experience of GeSI-Partners All of the GeSI partner companies who responded to the survey are major players in the fields of information and communications technologies. and about three quarters of home based teleworkers are said to work permanently from home. Together they represent one in eight employees. or switching between different company offices. which covers options to work from home. The largest group of teleworking employees are employees enabled for cooperative work and so-called “nomad workers” and vendors. Hence.1 Telework Company E has the largest share of employees able to telework: every second employee is telework-enabled with full remote access to the corporate network. 2001 3. Company D has an interesting range of approaches to telework. The approach of individual partners is discussed below. Company A identifies 3 per cent of employees worldwide to be teleworkers of any kind. having developed more advanced concepts of telework and teleconferencing.2. 9 Italy . which is remarkable by today’s standards. from customer sites as well as mobile working.

2. For videoconferencing. representing about 5 per cent of the work force. SIGNAL) may be rather typical. and tend to get expanded. In addition. the projects are positive.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Finally. Company B reports desktop-based availability for video-conferencing for those employees with high bandwidth connections. company E provides full access for all employees which seems to be characteristic of the other companies. In most cases. This is an interesting initiative that requires further investigation. The results for three insurance companies (Barmenia. 3. some 5. Additional data relating to the use of telephone conferences indicates that this kind of teleconferencing is widely established. with about 15 to 40 teleworkers each. Additional selected examples show a broader range of percentage shares. artists etc. it highlights the fact that facilities are limited. Companies A and C run 70 and 42 video-conferencing suites respectively. representing about 1 to 2 percent of the labour force in the head office. 3. In general. the status of telework in companies C and B is similar. In the early days of ICT-based teleworking it may have been creative people. in particular. who worked at home or in a pleasant location elsewhere.1 Telework As the ECaTT-survey shows. Deutscher Herold. or parts of the administration. A significantly more intensive use of telework was recorded 10 . the picture is more complicated.000 workers.3 Additional data 3. banking institutes. This technology could be made broadly available for use by employees without much equipment or assistance. the number of teleworkers and their shares of all employed are not very high. are enjoying the benefits of teleworking. are teleworkers in each case. In general. The data given by the GeSI partners confirms this percentage. Company D reports the largest number of videoconferences.. With respect to audioconferencing.and videoconferencing. On the other hand. thre is great variety. roughly 5 per cent of the labour force in Europe can be classified as teleworkers. Managing use of these suites necessitates significant administration.3.2 Teleconferencing Teleconferencing primarily consists of audio. Since then things have changed: the general impression is that now many people performing mainly desk-oriented work such as those working for insurance companies. including mobile teleworkers. writers. access and use fall behind the use of audio-conferences. and usage tends to be lower compared to other new net-based services. with different individual experiences. The advantage of point-to-point video-conferencing is that it requires less complex technology than multi-point conferencing. with the majority point-to-point events rather than multi-point. While this is impressive. away from square offices. From the available data. the benefits of point-to-point video-conferencing may not be sufficiently great to stimulate usage and employees may continue to rely on the telephone. A large number of projects was surveyed. with large numbers of regular conferences conducted. However. figures on the commuting distances of teleworkers show that teleworkers typically travel between 35 and 60 kilometres (one way).

Future trends will.4 Potentials for the future 3.3. another insurance company. the Scandinavian Videoconferencing User Group (SVUG). from a total of 2. Another aspect may be a little amazing: the proportion between the shares of “replaced my own travel” and “replaced other people’s travel”. The future demands for technical infrastructure are relatively predictable and in the meantime technical infrastructure represents a bottleneck only in rare cases. the farmers’ association Skanska Lantmännen. 3.1 Telework Guessing the future trends of telework should not be too difficult. Source: Peter ARNFALK: Virtual Mobility and Pollution Prevention. 400 employees are teleworking. 3. For Sweden. ARNFALK has surveyed four organisations practising videoconferences. Table 3-2: Respondent’s impression of the effect that their use of videoconferencing has had on their own and others business travel (*) Telia Replaced my own travel Replaced other people’s travel Some reduction but only minor effect on my travel Participated in meetings that I would not have travelled to Increased my travel Number of persons answering this question 47 % 15 % 20 % 16 % 1% 158 SVUG 45 % 22 % 14 % 15 % 4% 73 Skanska Lantmännen 58 % 25 % 17 % n. (**) In the survey at Tetra Pak. Additional data on the respective models installed and the experience made is given in APPENDIX 2. available only on request on a limited basis. the answers give a strong indication. So. that as yet the number of participants in videoconferencing is very small. mainly depend on the working conditions of the employed people. and the Company Tetra Pak. both shares should be about the same. Even if it is just meetings of two parties.600. the respondents had the possibility to check more than one alternative.4. while multi-point videoconferences remain a specialised service. Lund University (Sweden) 2002. table 3-2.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI at certain companies: at LVM. 56 The numbers of respondents gives a first clue on the spread of teleconferencing: it is obviously not very high. therefore. cf. p. 0% 12 Tetra Pak (**) 61 % 19 % 39 % 19 % 3% 31 (*) The four Swedish organisations were the company Telia.a.2 Teleconferencing Assessing the take-up of teleconferencing is more difficult. 11 . in particular outside the telecommunication sector or special interest groups. Telephone conferences are standard with general access for those who want it.

though differences between the countries do exist. 82 and 88 would be able to telelwork. Together the relevant groups respresent about 30 to 35 per cent of all employed persons.195 4. 107.816 31. mathematicians researcher and similar professions mercantile professions (not including shopkeepers) salesmen employees within the banking & insurance sectors managing. Germany. Evidently the kind of work conducted determines whether the work can be carried out using ICT-installations at home and the Internet and to what extent. most employment statistics do not focus on the professions of the workers. fishing etc. but on the industry groups in which they are employed. not all of the respective employees may be willing to transfer professional working to the private sphere. 64. physicists. Unfortunately. 12 . Germany) Statistisches Jahrbuch 2002 (statistical yearbook 2002) p. 75-78. However. assisting personnel writers and translators scientific professions selected professions all professions share of selected professions by per cent total 979 100 126 1. the statistics should give a clear impression of the hypothetical size of a teleworking labour-force.61 male 878 82 49 557 216 464 1.043 192 615 1. Germany): Statistisches Jahrbuch 2002 (statistical yearbook 2002) p. For calculation needs. 60 61 64 67 68 69 75 76 77 78 82 88 professional group engineers analytical chemists. horticulture.34 source: Statistisches Bundesamt (Federal Statistical Office. Calculations are therefore based on German data. April 2001 (table extract of relevant professional groups) No. As an example the shares for the labour-force working in the sectors of agriculture. administrative personnel accountants. but results from a quick translation).576 217 301 11. consulting and controlling personnel representatives. but represent minor portions anyway. Thereof the groups 60-61.638 36.349 117 121 6. Additionally. the English nomenclature is not official. The 1992 edition of the German classification of professional groups divides the labour force into roughly 100 professional groups.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Calculations of the potential numbers of teleworkers had to be based on grouping employees into professional groups.16 female 101 27 77 508 123 466 452 123 580 3.629 27. (While the numbers are based on the official statistics8. one can presuppose that about 75 to 80 per 8 Statistisches Bundesamt (Federal Statistical Office. 67-69.226 101 180 5.603 20. not all of them will actually have working conditions that would allow for conducting significant parts of their work in private homes. computer scientists office personnel.187 37.066 339 930 1. vary significantly. where breakdowns by professional groups are available.044 16.494 315 1. Table 3-3: Employed persons by selected professional groups in 1000. Comparing the breakdown by industry codes between different countries confirmed that the German data could serve as a proxy for the rest of Europe. The respective figures of employed persons are reported in the table 5-3. 107 Of course.

2 Teleconferencing It is rather difficult.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI cent of telework-capable employees have some kind of teleworkable working conditions. a strict hierarchical pattern should be used. 13 . or. The high estimation is a consequence of the criterion used in the ECaTT survey. though it can contain advanced ICT devices. in particular internet-based services like e-mail and live-chat.4. It does not seem very realistic to base the potentials for regular telework on this criterion. The technical layout and the future availability of advanced teleconferencing is not very clear. February 21-22. Though they have changed business and scientific procedures. This assumption is supported by the figures provided by Postel-Vinay9 for France. these applications do not really qualify as teleconferencing. Table 3-4: Areas of teleconferencing Point-to point Low bandwidth High bandwidth (traditional) telephone Video-telephone Multipoint Audio-conference Video-conference Traditional telephone use between two people is not normally qualified as an area of teleconferencing. to estimate the future potentials of teleconferencing. paper presented at the IEAconference ”The Future Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on the Energy System”. which makes the solution similar to the point-to-point approach. Paris. calculating that potential teleworkers make up two thirds of the total labour force. clear rules. and to a growing extent private lives. presentation available over the IEA-homepage. Gregoire (2002): Can telework save energy? A French outlook. because of two problems: • The number of events. The traditional telephone is in common use and not a new ICT-solution. 9 Postel-Vinay. either the number of participants should be very small. which potentially might be converted to or realised as some kind of teleconferencing. The use of this solution is as easy as the usability is limited. Such rules restrict the free flow of conversation possible in a normal meeting. which classifies work that can be teleworked as any work where at least six hours per week is conducted at a desk. • The table below is a simplifistic illustration of how bandwidth affects the potential of teleconferencing. Due to mutual interference created by people speaking simultaneously. for instance. 2002. 3. is not very clear. However. However it does give a hint as to the potential for sporadic home-based telework. Several other communication structures use low bandwidths and show relevant merits. Audio-conferences connecting more than two points to each other have been widely available for many years. The ECaTTsurvey gives a far higher estimation. the benefits of this option seem clear even if they do not provide an exciting promise for the future.

This is probably because cheap components are used and the systems suffer from low quality standards. Nevertheless. over several years. a videoconference was installed at the heads of Bavarian (university) computer centres. Until now. providing a single upload channel to the hub and multiple download channels from there in each case.10 show the development of the installed net topology and indicate the number of channels opened respectively. (1999): TKBRZL Telekonferenz der Bayerischen Rechenzentrumsleiter (Teleconference of the heads of Bavarian computer centres). WOLF. As part of a research project. Based on a hub-andspoke topology. 73. Figure 3–2: TKBRLZ – number of datastreams 10/96 – 03/97 10 F. it is possible that bandwidth problems will be overcome relatively soon and enhanced components rapidly become available. necessary bandwidth will grow exponentially according to the number of users. particularly when considered together and bearing in mind further features which are likely to be developed. ed. The following series of diagrams may give an impression of how the structures have evolved. Mitteilungsblatt des RegionalenRechenZentrums Erlangen (Journal of the regional computer centre Erlangen) Nr. fantasy and practical interest focus on broad bandwidth multipoint solutions like real videoconferences. This should illustrate that a comparatively simple structure can be easily developed. Based on an actual point-to-point connection between all participants. proprietary solutions predominate so far. whereas to develop a structure that provides easy access and general usability is a far more demanding task. proper solutions. from the final project report. The technical requirements grow significantly with the number of points to be connected. The gain in efficiency from the first approach to the final state is remarkable. the real advantages of point-to-point video streaming will be limited in comparison to traditional point-to-point solutions. Taking an optimistic view. The diagrams (figure 3-2 to 3-5). The progress made and the benefits offered by the described solutions are undoubtedly considerable.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Point-to-point connections that include a video-stream are becoming more and more used. It would seem that many such systems are installed in private homes and for the most part not used a great deal. Nevertheless. and not really on the horizon. Unlike standardised solutions. at low cost and with easy access are not available. Erlangen 1999 14 . the necessary bandwidth will grow linearly with the number of participants.

the numbers will remain rather marginal. on a peremployee basis. the comparison of the number of real letters and of e-mails sent may give an idea. and travelled distances they require. have natural limitations. it seems unreasonable to speculate on future trends in the use of videoconferencing. potentials for conferences. Whereas the number of real business trips.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Figure 3–3: TKBRLZ – number of datastreams 04/97 – 10/98 Figure 3–4: TKBRLZ – number of datastreams from 11/98 Figure 3-5: TKBRLZ – number of datastreams. the possible number of virtual meetings is limitless. Though it is not the same. may vary vastly. In contrast with commuter trips. Therefore. compared to 15 . normally show only small variations. as eventually foreseen for 1999 The answers provided by the GeSI-partners give no clear indication of when quick and easy access for a broader user group and at any location will become a real possibility. which. uncertainties also exist. meetings etc. In the short term. On the demand side.

LLC. Volume 1. Wainhouse Research. for the coming five years the growth rate in revenues on voice and data conferencing infrastructure is estimated to be higher than that of video11. In the long term. MA (USA) 16 .17.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI other means of communication including real conferences and meetings. Brookline. Interestingly. Wainhouse Research: Conferencing Markets & Strategies 2001. the result may be completely different. p. 11 cf.

Therefore.1. Using Germany as an example12. The roll out of telework will increase the potential for greater economic benefits to be gained at lower cost. companies and at the European society level. pilot projects and experience indicate that economic benefits may arise from the following: • • • more efficient use of time and space. Reduced commuting is significant for two reasons: a) Reduced traffic flow saves energy and reduces toxic exhaust fumes b) Less rush hour traffic reduces traffic jams and reduces the costs and environmental impacts caused by expanding the road network. Section 5 will discuss the social impacts of telework on individual teleworkers. and the growth of leisure-related transport.1 Transport saving Transport savings from telework have been a key issue in discussions. even significant reductions in commuting will make only a modest contribution to changes in the transport balance. faster results for urgent tasks. therefore. 17 . 12 Hard data providing a breakdown of national transport activity by purpose are rare. social and economic sustainability. even the German data suffer from some minor shortcomings. essential to factor it in at an early stage in the development of a technology. The reduction of commuting distances seems an obvious outcome if office-based work is substituted by homebased work. In the case of telework. Immediacy of contact and responses to questions and decisions. However the effects should not be overestimated. 4. teleconferencing and mobile ICT use. whilst identifying any potential increases in environmental impact through telework. SOHO and supplementary telework will not necessarily reduce commuting distance (see table 2-1 for explanations of the types of telework). this is not the case with all types of home-based work. in order to identify and avoid obstacles and rebound effects. alternating. due to a decrease in the volume of labour. Social and ecological sustainability can act as a driver as well as an inhibitor. The general outlook for the future indicates that commuting will decline further as a share of overall transport activity. as mobile. It is. But as discussed in chapter 2. commuting accounts for about a sixth of overall passenger transport activity (passenger kilometres travelled).1 General Approach 4. Transport impacts and changes Any assessment of the future development of technology must take into consideration the three dimensions of ecological. Economic benefits tend to be the driving force behind the development of new technological solutions.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 4. Section 4 of this case study will discuss the impacts of telework on transport activities and will outline opportunities for reducing the environmental impact of transport.

particularly in bigger cities. Moreover. business trips account for approximately 20 per cent of overall transport activity. ed. median and variance in distances travelled are far higher. Environmentally speaking. Paris (OECD) 1999. These are not represented in the original data. the extent of congestion can be overstated. particularly where it facilitates long distance communication and substitutes for air travel. telemaintaining and so on. the effect of including foreign air travel is to reverse the percentages for commuting (about 16 per cent of transport activity) and business activity (about 20 per cent of transport activity). Nevertheless. 18 . The publication and the figures are updated annually. commuting makes up about 20 per cent of transport activity and business trips about 16 per cent. In the long run. Berlin: Verkehr in Zahlen 2001/2002 (German Institute for Economic Research. According to German data for 1999.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Any reduction in rush hour traffic is of local relevance. ECMT . Interestingly. In general.13 Similarly. personal relations will continue to underpin business contacts. Berlin: Transport in Figures 2001/2002). The graph is based on data from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin. which are conducted in bigger intervals. Traffic congestion is not a major problem on an avergage basis. Additional data on distance structure and further structural elements are provided by the so-called KONTIV-studies. there are potential transport savings to be made from teleconferencing. Figure 4-1(below) shows the actual distribution of passenger transport in Germany by activity according to the number of trips made and passenger kilometres. We will return to this in Section 5 in our discussion of the social impacts of telework. Drawing general conclusions in this area is of limited value as huge local variations exist. these figures can serve as a proxy for modern economies in Europe.Round table 110 „Traffic Congestion in Europe“. teleworkable commuter trips now account for a smaller proportion of rush hour congestion as working hours have become more flexible and varied. and a much greater share of it’s impacts. The nine to five pattern remains a daily reality for some but not many. but includes an estimation of distances flown. The number of business trips looks set to rise steadily as business becomes increasingly global. While geographical. despite the big role of the topic in the public discussion. by the German Federal Minister on Transport. 14 Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung. 13 for a critical approach cf. teleconferencing could make a significant contribution to reducing transport and its associated environmental impacts. social and cultural differences across Europe should not be disregarded. it is widely understood that teleconferencing cannot fully substitute for business trips. representing only a very small share of traffic situations. In comparison to commuting. but is less important for rural areas.14 If air travel is restricted to flights within Germany. which covers only flight activity within national boundaries. Just as home-based teleworkers and their colleagues need some personal interaction to maintain an effective working relationship. the number of business trips is lower but mean. Business flights represent a small percentage of business trips but accounts for about half the business distance travelled. it is important to consider the full extent of air travel.

environmental and regional issues caused by adaptation to telework and teleshopping. negative effects may appear not mentioned in the adaptive decisions.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Passenger Trips and Transport Activity (passenger-km) by Purpose .3 % education 4.Germany 1999 - holidays 16. Verkehr in Zahlen 2001/2002. Table 4-1: Potential turns on the impacts of telework and teleshopping 19 . trips (inside) und 1243 bill. estimated foreign trip sections Source: DIW.4 % holidays 0.2 % shopping 9. due to structural conditions.5 bill.2 % Totals: 95.5 % shopping 26. pass.2 % leisure 38.3 % commuting 16.6 % business 8.7 % leisure 33. the positive effect may get anticipated in the respective dispositions and compensated under the rule of a constant load principle. The following table 4-1 gives an impression of potential rebound effects on social.0 % education 7. While this reaction tends to spirit the benefits away. procedure or regulation will often call for the intended positive effects as a first result.1. A certain kind of adaptation is one of the mechanisms responsible for such processes: a new machine.2 Rebound effects by adaptation Whereas potential rebound effects of telework will be discussed in detail later. the aim here is to highlight a more general experience: that initially positive effects sometimes turn to adverse effects after a while.1 % commuting 19. air transport incl. Later on.-km (outside). Both of them seem to support the effect of each other.6 % business 20. own calculations Figure 4-1: Passenger Trips and Transport Activity by Purpose 4.

cf. enhanced access to labour and goods made possible by telework and teleshopping may stabilize present regional structures. when a person substitutes some commuter trips for electronic information transport. in particular in disadvantaged regions. Similarly. material. However. 4. paper presented at the IEA-conference ”The Future Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on the Energy System”. February 21-22. Gregoire POSTEL-VINAY (2002): Can telework save energy? A French outlook. if adapted as a general habit. if this person accepts greater distances when next moving or changing workplace. the burden on the environment gets reduced. because he/she has to make commuter trips less frequently. but how developments are realised. The experience of home-based telework allows for some general advice referring to the layout of telework organisation. allowing better access to the markets for labour and for goods: as far as distance plays a role.15 From the point of view of transport.g. 2002.3 Reasonable layout for telework The paragraph above may already have made plain that the effects of telework will depend upon. or only parts of days. the initial effect of telework and teleshopping may be positive. not just whether. If. in the long run. ARNFALK. the most important consideration is whether telework at home covers whole days.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Area of impact Social Short-term impact Mainly advantages by enhanced accessibility Potentials for transport savings Stabilising regional structures Long-term impact Advantages and disadvantages because of greater distances Disadvantages because of increases in transport use Scattered structures Environmental Regional development Source: Wuppertal Institute Socially. p. neglecting the distances because of ICT may lead to neglecting any regional structures. These negative long-term developments do not make for an attractive future but they do not seem unlikely.1. the demand for additional workspace and equipment at home and the respective savings in the office are a central element in an overall evaluation in terms of space. within an adaptive process.16 This leads to three classes of home-based telework with a reasonable layout as described in table 4-2. Peter (2002): Virtual Mobility and Pollution Prevention. 80 20 . energy. living conditions turn to activity patterns on an increased spatial scale. Lund. it is possible that the net effect on the environment will be negative. 15 E. A s many authors discuss. Paris. e-technologies enhance the possibilities making distance negligible. and money. However. greater distances will also provide disadvantages. Undoubtedly. It is therefore vitally important that such structural rebound effects are given close consideration. as emphasized by ARNFALK. presentation available over the IEA-homepage 16 cf.

Conversely. Clearly. some additional requirements at the working-places in the private homes are worth mentioning. With regard to technical equipment. This may be reasonable as long as there are no significant additions required in the home. particularly if two persons share the same office space. where the maximum number of days per week worked at home is on average one. In this case. this could be arranged using less space compared to an office-based working place. one day per week of not commuting is unlikely to have a significant influence on a person’s decisions regarding the distance they will accept between their home and office. additional demands at home and savings in the office may roughly balance each other. ambulant solutions could meet the demands at lower cost. The accepted commuting distance will increase significantly given the situation of commuting just once a week. but might not amount to the savings made at the external office. accepted commuting distances will rise. office-based: Perceptible Medium C ≤ 1 day/week of Office-based work Reduction to ≤ 20 % Considerable High Source: Wuppertal Institute Class A represents the low case. with about half the working time in the external office and half at home. 21 . full supply of a working place at home will be required. Providing a full working place at the external office when the employee is not present does not seem very reasonable. due to the functional benefits provided by a home environment. In this case. With reference to transport. This solution seems reasonable. or coming to the office once in the fortnight. the need for space and equipment in the normal office doesn’t usually change. This is not implausible because computers with Internet access are becoming increasingly common place in private homes. However. the additional space and equipment there can be overlooked. with a single stay over night there. Class C describes the high case in which the teleworking person goes to the external office just once a week or even less frequently.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Table 4-2: Classes of home-based telework Class Description Office space & equipment 1 day/week of Home-based telework ≈ 50 : 50% Influence on Living space & equipment Commuting distance A Not significant Reduction by 50 % Low Low B Home-based v. when employees have to go to the office only every second day or week. On the other hand. Flexible. Class B determines the medium case.

the solutions chosen are far less effective in terms of space. taking into account side and rebound effects: a) reduction of car occupancy.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Reality. In order to draw conclusions about the impact on transport. as we all know. filtering out motorised transport: 1. The exercise. it would be necessary to differentiate between traditional and ICT-enabled mobile work Of the other collected examples (cf. Reported commuting distances for teleworkers of between 20 and 40 miles one-way would seem to be above the median commuting distance for all employees. But again. does not always follow reasonable plans.000 km/year (all 400 teleworkers. 220 working days/year) 2. Germany. stands out because of the high number of 400 teleworkers there. The only company reporting a large number of mobile workers seems to have traditionally had a large number of mobile workers. Then.313 miles of travel and one out of every four teleconferences was said to be incremental or complementary rather than substitutional. however. The LVM evaluation concludes that telework leads to a reduction in transport intensity and quantifies the transport impacts as follows: 1. may have shown what the potentials for optimising might be. it is difficult to draw general conclusions from these findings.1 Experience from individual cases Data provided by the GeSI-companies relating to the impacts of telework and teleconferencing on transportation is limited.000 km per year on average 3. the layout and result of several panel studies are shown. 44 weeks/year) 4. Only one company provided travel figures relating to teleconferencing.000 km per year on average (average daily distance: 21km.440. Appendix 1) the case of LVM.2. (in sum 19km weekly per teleworker) c) trips made by family members because of car availability: (in sum 72km weekly per teleworker) in total: 640. an insurance company based in Münster. “real” total transport saving: 22 . Teleconferences replaced 1. 4. Analysis of the impacts of mobile telework on transport is even more speculative. 4. the development of commuting and business travel since 1991 is discussed using macro data. 400 teleworkers. and as present experience shows. b) trips which could be combined with trips to and from work.2 Detailed Analysis The next paragraph refers firstly to the experience of GeSI partner companies and other individual cases. total transport saving due to reduced trips to (and from) work: 1.800. energy and equipment used. Finally.

17 Walter Vogt. Stefan Denzinger et al. and in particular of telework on travel behaviour).2 Collected studies Home based telework A current panel study of the German Bundesanstalt für das Straßenwesen (Federal Highway Research Institute) on the effects of telework on travel behaviour17 also discusses other panel studies on the same issue (cf.000 km/year 4.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 800. (2001): Auswirkungen neuer Arbeitskonzepte und insbesondere von Telearbeit auf das Verkehrsverhalten (effects of new concepts of work.103f 23 .2. Bremerhaven 2001. Table 4-3). pp.

(2001): Auswirkungen neuer Arbeitskonzepte und insbesondere von Telearbeit auf das Verkehrsverhalten (effects of new concepts of work. the results on further consequences differ to some extent. The Dutch study shows a remarkable reduction in the use of public transport and bicycles.85 1.0 persons mean 1. Also the number of home working days lie in a similar range.7 km 67 per cent project duration participants (teleworkers) mean age gender relation.a. using transport diaries over 3 days and a household questionnaire 2 years. but discovers that bicycles were used 24 . Similarly the US and the Dutch studies do not suggest higher car use by other household members on the teleworking days. and in particular of telework on travel behaviour).5 km national mean 13.96 persons mean 1. and 6 month after.25 1. cars per household mean working time at home commuting distance teleworkers: 32 km regional mean: 17 km teleworkers: 3 to 4 times Dutch mean n.a. = not available Source: Walter Vogt. 23 : 77 mean 2. male : female household size pass. using transport diaries over 7 days and a household questionnaire 3 years. The US and the Dutch projects show a reduction in the number of trips realised and the distances travelled by other members of the teleworker’s household. pp. and 10 – 13 month after.103f The surveys show a range of similar results. 0 .75 persons mean 1. but also some differences. Mar 1990 to Mar 1991 30 n. 2 weeks before.6 full days per week plus 0. 1 month before. and 5 – 6 month after.a. The German study confirms this for public transport.a.a. n. Stefan Denzinger et al.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Table 4-3: Panel surveys on teleworking and mobility Subject Method USA 2-step panel survey. Bremerhaven 2001.2 days per week GB 2-step panelsurvey. mean 2. n.8 mixed days per week teleworkers: 22. While the weekly commuting distances themselves get reduced.a. Jan 1988 to Dec 1989 73 41 years 64 : 36 n. 1. The commuting distances are in general greater than the regional averages. which cannot be seen in the German survey. the gender distribution reveals no pattern. in 3month-intervals after. This is also the case in other individual case studies. 1995 to 1997 24 n. using transport diaries over 7 days and a household questionnaire 1 year.5 days per week NL 4-/5-step panel survey.5 1.6 month before. whereas the German study claims a growth in car use of 16 per cent. 1997 to 1999 80 40 years 50 : 50 mean 3.4 days per week D 2-step panelsurvey.a. 1 month before. using transport diaries over 7 days and a household questionnaire 2 years. On the other hand. teleworkers: 38 km national mean: 13 km 96 per cent commuting: share 80 per cent of car drivers n.

8 per cent and the potential effect on business air travel in 2000 at 3. 54 Together with the impressions of participants in teleconferencing as reported in table 3-2 above. it is not discussed in detail.7 kms daily.6 per cent. In addition he points at a Canadian study by Roy and Filiatraut (1998).000 people are performing alternating telework in Germany. However. though both results are not significant. Therefore.37 billion passenger kilometres were saved in Germany. the distances travelled by teleworkers drop by a significant 7. (cf. The number of bicycle rides taken by teleworkers grew by 45 per cent on teleworking days. according to the German study. which has estimated the current impact of videoconferencing at 1. On the basis of figures claiming that 540. in 1999. p. that the research period was too short to show this sort of phenomenon in a significant way. that telework influences the choice of living place.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI more intensively by teleworkers as well as by other household members. extending the distances between private homes and traditional workplaces. Table 4-4: Selected estimations on the substitution potential of teleconferencing Region Ireland US Canada Germany and UK US Substitution potential 30 per cent of total business travel 20 per cent of total business travel 20 per cent of total business travel 35 per cent of total business travel Date of estimation 1978 1983 1983 1985 Source Rapp and Skamedal 1996 Rapp and Skamedal 1996 Rapp and Skamedal 1996 Rapp and Skamedal 1996 Cook and Haver 25 per cent of 1994 business air travel until 2010 reduction of 15 per cent of air travel and up to 40 per cent of business travel 1995 Roy and Filiatrault 1998 Source: Peter Arnfalk (2002): Virtual Mobility and Pollution Preventing. The US study states that the contraction of the radius of activities is about the same on teleworking and other days. This corresponds to 0. though the authors emphasize. to what extent the business trips saved by teleconferencing together with other business trips physically conducted are basically generated or enabled by access to current 25 . The US and the British projects ascertain. table 4-4). ECaTT estimate that a total of 1. Teleconferencing Arnfalk (2002) gives an overview of several estimations of the substitution potential of teleconferencing. The German study cannot confirm this phenomenon. Lund University 2002. the saved distance travelled annually per teleworker comes to 2. these estimations support a rather optimistic view. for all days excluding vacational periods (which are estimated by the authors as 35 days per year).6 – 8. and 0.9 per cent of the total commuting distance travelled.541 km.2 per cent of all passenger kilometres. and the number of walks by 33 per cent. As a result. whereas the German study focuses the contraction particularly to teleworking days.

does not support the thesis which suggests that transport savings have been made because of telework.3 Macro data Studies on individual cases as well as collected studies available on telework and transport in general cover only small numbers of teleworkers. the analysis is based on German data for the decade 1991 to 2000 and focuses on two transport purposes: commuting and business trips. it is very important for business travel as well as for the overall view. this does not reflect the general but weak trend to rise the average distances. to give an idea of the extent to which the suggested outcome could be verified. 26 . Therefore it will be a good exercise. it does not meet the general view of the future of business travel. because of the high numbers of vacational trips oriented to the Mediterranean. For example. Since proper EU-wide data was not available. respectively. referring to home-based telework and to teleconferencing. Private and business trips go over all distance bands. out of a total of some 540. (cf. Moreover. Business trips on the other hand seem to have a special focus to shorter. but on a composition of participants as available by chance.2. attached to the study. Though such developments may be likely for individual persons or companies. in particular stretches outside national territory made by air transport18.000 performing alternating telework. the studies are not based on probabilistic sampling. When comparing the data presented here with data for other countries. As a result. table 4-5). While this is not relevant for commuting in Germany. Little may astonish. Home-based telework and commuting The overall distance travelled for commuting is growing though not very fast. Despite some other correction possibly necessary. the growth rates for air distances travelled as reported here tend to be a little conservative. To represent the magnitudes correctly. But the private air travel has a special focus in the middle distance band.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI ICT. claiming directly for a reduction of business trips. Table 4-5: Commuting Distance travelled in billion passenger kms for Germany 18 Confirmed statistical data for the full air distances travelled in the break-down by transport purpose are missing. 4. to compare the specific studies on telework and transport with macro data. intercontinental relations. yet it claims to represent the biggest panel study on the issue. The full scope is included in Appendix 2. In particular the reported results from a 1995 estimation by Arthur D.500 km. the German study dealt with in the paragraph above used as its basis the questionnaires and transport diaries of 80 persons. European relations as well as to longer. and take into account the complete distances travelled. in particular. That the last three years represent the highest figures. it should be remembered that the estimations modelled here cover all transport means. both private and business trips here are calculated with the same average distance of 2. including non-motorised transport means.

0 0.3 22.0 0.5 22.0 0.2 4. though it is very weak and may be an artefact of the modelling procedure.9 Car pass.2 204.5 11.8 137.4 Air (1) 0.5 11.4 2..1 4. as the absolute numbers include changes in the extension of the overall labour force.2 11. representing an average growth rate of about 0.9 197.2 140.3 11. So.7 4.0 0..2 142.0 0. This time series shows a more distinct path upwards.0 0.7 19.0 0.0 0.. estimated full length of air trips source: German Institute for Economic Research.5 per cent per year.7 200. road 24.8 198.5 19.0 2.0 0.9 20.0 0. below An analysis per employed person provides more reliable figures.6 23.0 by bicycle 5. Appendix 2. road 54 52 51 50 47 47 46 46 45 45 p. Wuppertal Institute.5 19.t. rail 17.2 2. 12. (2) outside national territory.3 2.0 0.3 Air (2) 0.2 11. the hypothesis of reduced commuter trip intensity as a consequence of the spread of telework cannot be verified.t.3 (1) over national territory.2 198. However. and therefore should not be interpreted as a significant change.7 12.2 22.0 2.8 23. These numbers again show a maximum at the end of the reported period.6 19. which are known for their higher price-elasticities.0 4.3 11.2 203. Wuppertal Institute.8 21.0 p.0 Total (3) 198.0 0.6 11. rail 17 17 17 19 20 19 19 19 19 19 Car driver 280 286 292 299 301 304 307 313 316 312 Car pass.0 Total (1) 198.0 2.9 197. The growth is mainly a result of the ongoing substitution of shorter trips by non-motorised modes with longer trips as a car driver. Appendix 2.t. Germany by feet 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 63 60 58 57 55 55 55 55 55 54 by bicycle 52 50 48 46 45 45 44 44 44 43 p.0 196.0 0.1 4.4 22.1 134.0 0.0 0.t.7 200. The decline in the final year can be interpreted as an elastic reaction to the price escalation of automotive fuels.0 198.1 143.1 21.0 0.1 199.4 12.0 4.0 4. the distances travelled do not give evidence of a significant transport saving as a result of home-based telework.0 196.2 17.1 199.2 198. table 4-6 (below) shows the annual number of commuter trips per employed person. below Table 4-7 deals with the distances travelled for commuting per employed person.3 19. (3) incl.0 2.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI by feet 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2.0 0.2 203. 27 . cf. Table 4-6: Commuter trips per employed person.0 4.5 139.0 2.0 0.4 17.3 Car driver 136.2 204.2 139.8 19. Therefore.2 139.8 21.4 4. This is confirmed by the more intense reactions in fields such as shopping and leisure trips.0 198. cf.7 p.1 2. 29 29 29 28 27 26 26 26 26 26 Air 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total 495 494 495 498 495 496 497 503 505 498 source: German Institute for Economic Research.8 198.0 145.

Germany by feet 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 64 62 60 58 56 56 56 56 55 55 by bicycle 134 127 121 116 114 114 112 112 110 109 p. The data shows the opposite.536 5. Though the figures given here for air travel outside national territory represent a rather rough estimation.309 5. road 662 625 602 571 550 547 545 544 530 538 p.986 3. they make clear. Wuppertal Institute.498 5. Table 4-8: Business trips. in billion passenger kms for Germany 28 .415 5.868 3. (3) incl.768 3. Teleconferencing and business trips For business trips. because the number of working hours drops faster than the number of employed persons. As a result. km. a growth in the number of commuting trips and distances travelled would be the expected consequence.736 3.5 per cent.960 3.916 3.550 5.808 3. the overall distances travelled are shown in table 4-8.610 5. the potential effects of changes to the working hours per employee were surveyed. Distance travelled. 339 336 335 322 319 314 313 315 316 311 Air (1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total (1) 5.823 3. below In addition.583 5. However.583 5.309 5. Appendix 2.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Table 4-7: Commuting: distance travelled per employed person.385 5.. the number of commuting trips per working hour goes up with an annual rate of about 0. the tendency is described correctly. As long as sinking working hours per employee are combined with growing commuting distances per employee. and the distance travelled per working hour rises with a growth rate of about 1 per cent per year.415 5.554 (1) over national territory.433 5. cf.433 5. estimated full length of air trips source: German Institute for Economic Research.385 5.498 5.610 5. we should not expect significant transport savings due to home-based telework. What the figures show is that the distance travelled for business trips rises in line with growing competence in teleconferencing.645 3. The clear overall growth of about a quarter originates in particular from 1994 on and is fed mostly by growing air travel. Firstly.t. while the estimated figures may not be very proper. a similar approach is chosen.554 Air (2) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total (3) 5. (2) outside national territory.536 5.931 Car pass.550 5.. rail 465 466 473 626 652 634 609 597 613 609 Car driver 3.t. If the working hours per employee and so the number of working days rises. that the overall picture is significantly distorted by neglecting international flights.

6 223.8 121.1 78.t.6 153. Special attention should be drawn to air trips which remain at 1 trip per employee per year.9 5.3 3.3 3.9 18.0 161.8 13.t.6 5. which by far outpaces the minor fluctuations in car driving (cf.3 0. Appendix 2.1 Total (1) 148. Unlike commuting which is more or less constant at about 500 trips per employed person.3 0.3 0. Wuppertal Institute.2 151.4 72.7 7. Germany by feet 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 8 by bicycle 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 p.3 0.3 0. rail 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 Car driver 183 186 191 197 194 195 200 203 202 201 Car pass.3 0.3 0.1 15.4 84.3 3.4 Car pass. road 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 p.0 235.3 127..8 208. table 4-10).0 151.4 3.3 0. (3) incl..3 0.8 228. Appendix 2.6 12.9 6.9 213.8 254.4 3. rail 5.1 3.3 0.0 6.1 243.6 62.3 0. because of the reduction of employed persons during the reported time period.4 14. 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 Air 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Total 209 212 217 223 221 223 227 230 229 228 source: German Institute for Economic Research. (2) outside national territory.2 74. maybe in combination with variations in the performance of more and less business trip-oriented industries.1 99.1 Air (1) 9. cf. Also possible might be that the figures merely represent stochastic fluctuations.8 7.3 0.3 0.1 3..9 124.3 0.9 10. the annual business trips per employee grew by about 10 per cent because of additional trips conducted as car drivers. below As with commuting.3 0. 5.3 0.9 7.6 7.1 59.8 93.3 0. estimated full length of air trips source: German Institute for Economic Research. below The following table 4-9 surveys the number of business trips per employee. the distances travelled per employee rose more than for the complete labour force.1 6.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI by feet 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 0.2 213. that the growth rate there is the highest of all. Wuppertal Institute. due to rounding.7 to 1.1 6.2 121.6 10.7 (1) over national territory.3 p.0 6.0 6.8 7.3 annual trips per employee.8 125. near to 80 per cent from 0. road 3.t.9 61.3 7.1 126. A more accurate inspection shows..9 262.3 by bicycle 0.9 125.9 156.6 151.0 6.0 6. This could indicate that a few business trips otherwise realised were not felt necessary as a consequence of contact supported by modern telecommunication. Table 4-9: Business trips per employed person. cf. Interestingly.3 127. 29 .7 149.4 10.2 16.9 6.1 6.4 3.7 122. the numbers have not changed remarkably since 1997.3 0.t. Overall growth does not weaken because of the growth of air transport.8 163.7 159.9 Car driver 122.4 Total (3) 205.1 p.3 Air (2) 57.1 3.

a quantitative assessment could be conducted as in table 4-11.558 2. The calculation is based on the current situation of labour and of transport. Future changes in the labour force. that the ongoing progress in telecommunication technologies correlates more with extended business travel.104 4.376 4. road 91 92 93 91 92 92 87 86 85 85 p.494 3. commuting could be reduced by significant quantities. which will alter the balance of transport and the shares going to the various transport purposes.208 4.707 1.952 4.3. cf. the distances travelled per working hour grow stronger than per employee with annual rates at about 3.668 1. 158 160 165 166 167 167 168 170 168 167 Air (1) 256 295 286 294 355 372 394 424 464 494 Total (1) 3. and rebound effects need not be considered.461 Air (2) 1.3 Model calculations 4.1 Home-based telework: best case As a best case it may be assumed that home-based telework will be oriented towards complete working days at home. Because of the reduction in working hours the specific number of business trips do not reduce at all. Wuppertal Institute.002 7.378 3. below The additional calculations of numbers per working hour influence the results in a similar w a y to that reported for commuting.799 7.336 6.497 3. Likewise potential changes in travel habits are ignored.546 1.277 4.211 6.170 4.480 Car pass.t. This confirms the overall picture..177 (1) over national territory. (3) incl.381 3.t. Obviously. (2) outside national territory. rail 150 160 168 188 203 220 215 212 214 216 Car driver 3.004 2. Appendix 2. under such conditions. such as the disappearance and creation of jobs.. Germany by feet 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 8 8 8 8 8 9 8 8 8 8 by bicycle 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 p.646 2.772 5.441 3.5 per cent.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Table 4-10: Business trips: distance travelled per employed person. Table 4-11: Potentials for transport saving by home-based telework: Best case 30 .136 4. than with business travel saving.445 4. are not reflected.434 4.498 5.376 3. km.877 5.059 2.365 2. 4.522 3.716 Total (3) 5.190 2.566 6. Using figures elaborated above.282 3. estimated full length of air trips source: German Institute for Economic Research. but stagnate for the years 1998 to 2000 on a level 15 percent above the figure for 1991.413 3.782 6.

an appropriate data base for the EU. the potential non-commuting because of home-based telework can be assessed to represent about 1. but should not be very high for the complete EU. It may be worth mentioning. A systematic and relevant difference between the average commuting distance of the telework-capable workers and all employed persons cannot be seen. The commuting travel of telework-capable employees corresponds to their share of the complete labour force. Real results will differ more or less. The share of telework-capable jobs was discussed above and estimated at nearly 32 per cent of all jobs. the hypothetical commuting distances travelled by home-based teleworkers might equal 4 per cent of all passenger kilometres travelled. Remarkably higher shares reported in other studies typically result from neglecting relevant shares of all passenger kilometres travelled when constructing the 100 per cent basis. This estimation.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Group All employed persons Telework-capabble jobs home-based teleworker Telework days at home Definition Object commuting Share of total distance travelled 16. which grouped employees by their professional skills instead of by the type of industry they are working for. by excluding any rebound effects the picture is to be rated as a rather optimistic view.3 per cent of all passenger kilometres travelled are accounted for by their commuting. It was estimated that about three quarters of the employed with telework-capable jobs could potentially telework from their homes on a regular basis. In this case the distances should be about the same as for other employed persons. or two days per week.5 days/week and 10 per cent with 4 days/week working home-based.6 per cent 32 per cent of all employees 75 per cent of employees with telework-capable jobs 40 per cent of working days their commuting their commuting saved commuting Source: Wuppertal Institute To explain the calculation: Commuting of all persons covers about a sixth of all passenger kilometres travelled. Of course. which means at least one complete day per week. in particular from excluding parts or all of air travel. if they would not work several days at home but go to their offices. was not available. Regional differences may exist. Therefore about 5. As a consequence. a calculation of such kind can only give an idea of the magnitude in question. As a consequence. Whereas in an early phase of home-based telework the commuting distances of teleworkers may be significantly above the average. 50 per cent with 2.5 per cent 5. as reported in several studies.6 per cent of all passenger kilometres travelled. corresponds to distributions of teleworking such as 40 per cent of teleworkers with 1 day/week. as home-based telework becomes more generalised. as recent studies for Germany make clear.0 per cent 1. a comprehensive survey of the job characteristics of European employees may result in minor corrections. However.3 per cent 4. distributions like this seem to mark plausible ranges. that a changed organisation 31 . this effect should disappear. As a further estimation. As a result. Again. This corresponds to roughly one quarter of all employed persons. as an average. Without being too precise. the share of home-based telework days can be assessed at about 40 per cent of all working days. for instance.

Furthermore.htm 20 A. 4. this will contribute to more widespread and sparsely populated settlement patterns. but could stimulate additional car-use. Further disadvantages may result from changes to daily commuting routines. 34 (3). family members (and others) are able to use the car on days when the teleworker is at home. Greater distances between settlements may generate additional social costs and. • • • • In order to give a clear and not too complicated picture. the modelling shall concentrate on the first item named above. A recent study. the overall result could be an increase in the number of kilometres travelled. / VICTOR. Schafer. Locally the experience may differ but this cannot be generalised. additional trips may be required to complete tasks previously completed as part of the daily commute. Presentation at the Transportation Vision 2050 Futurist Workshop. conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). would result in commuter travel savings of twice as much. D. Sheet 6. Doubletree Inn at Southcenter Mall. Rebound effects may result from varied patterns of work management when working at home. In several cases. This finding is based on a large number of individual studies covering a broad range of cultures from across the world. found average daily travelling time to be relatively constant at slightly above one hour per person.2 Home-based telework: worst case The construction of a worst case to show the other extreme is more difficult. FAQ: What are the benefits of Telework – Telecommuting?.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI of working times. 171 – 205. and MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change: Modeling Global Mobility – World Passenger Transport Through 2050.3. which may take place. providing in general 4 instead of 5 working days per week. Policy & Industrial Development. This could lead to additional trips which would not be made when working from the As a further consequence. cf. Fresh evidence has confirmed the hypothesis of constant travel time budgets. the impact will be minimal given that the current occupancy of passenger cars for commuting purposes according to German figures is just over one person per car.eto. who have to commute less frequently. Seattle 2000. 32 . A. as shown in the following diagram20. on www. established car-sharing/car-pooling schemes report efficiency losses. (2000): The Future Mobility of the World Population. In relation to home-based telework. The core idea is to quantify the relevant rebound effects. for the transport sector in particular. But overall. Transportation Research A. Finally. cf also SCHAFER. the key factors which may limit its positive contribution are as follows: • Employees. MIT Center for Technology. This may reduce the need for a second or third family car. Some of them will move to more pleasant. but distant locations. This is particularly the case where high speed road or rail links allow commuters to cover longer distances more quickly. 19 ETO points at this in its basic article on benefits of telework: „Work opportunities are not confined to jobs within reasonable commuting distance“.19 Despite making fewer trips. pp. reduce the potential for public and non-motorised transport. may accept longer commuting distances over time.

1965/66 4 Pskov (Former USSR). 1990 National Travel Surveys: A Belgium. 175 . 1990 M Germany. 1965/66 5 Maribor (Former Yugoslavia). 1976 E Netherlands. 1984 J Germany.0 0.5 2. 1974 Kagoshima (Japan). Berlin 1996. 1991 Sendai (Japan). 1993 14 6 Cities (France).Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI An earlier study21 analysing the evolution of passenger transport in Germany since 1950 and the status in 1989 shows the same. 1965/66 10 Hoyerswerde (Former GDR). 1972 Sapporo (Japan).1965/66 6 Kragujevac (F.1965/66 11 Sao Paulo (Brazil). pp. 1965/66 15 Osnabruck (Germany). 1983 C Great Britain. in: Jürgen P. but extends the distances travelled. 1977 Niigata (Japan). 1983 Paris (France). 1986 H Netherlands. Figure 4-1: A survey on average daily travel time (hours) according to several studies Daily travel time per capita (hours) 5. 1965/66 8 Gyoer (Hungary). 1993 2 Kazanlik (Bulgaria).5 0. 1990 Osaka (Japan).212 33 . 1965/66 17 Jackson (USA). Rinderspacher: Zeit für die Umwelt (time for the environment). 1965/66 16 44 Cities (USA). 1974 Kumamoto (Japan). the growing availability of faster means of transportation does not save any transport time. 1985 S Norway. 1989/91 G Finland. 1989 N Switzerland.1965/66 7 Torun (Poland).5 4. 1980 Tokyo (Japan).0 3. 1973 Hamamatsu (Japan). O. 1987 O S L 15000 20000 21 K. 1987 I France. It claims that transport time is more or less constant. 1985/86 D Germany. 1984 O Switzerland. 1985 Tokyo (Japan).5 3. 1978 Osaka (Japan).0 0 5000 10000 GDP/cap. 1991 R Norway. Yugoslavia). 1989 L USA. 1987 12 Sao Paulo (Brazil). 1965/66 18 Paris (France). 21-29 in 1987 Tokyo (Japan). 1989 P Australia. Schallaböck (1996): Verkehr und Zeit (travel and time). 1972 Kanazawa (Japan).0 4. 1985 Cities No. 1976 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Paris (France).0 2. 1978 Hiroshima (Japan).0 1. 1979 F Great Britain. 1975 Fukui (Japan). 1982 K Netherlands. 1992 T Japan. 1986 Q Singapore. 1980 Osaka (Japan). 1965/66 3 Lima-Callao (Peru). 1986 II Ghana. 1988 City Surveys: 1 Tianjin (China). 1977 13 Warsaw (Poland).5 1. 1965/66 9 Olomouc (Former CSFR). 1965/66 B Austria. US$(1985) Source: Schafer and Victor (2000) I II 2 1 7 5 9 3 6 8 10 4 13 12 11 A 20 19 G 16 31 D B J H 17 K P R 35 22 23 N 33 21 25 29 32 T 30 M 36 24 E F 14 15 28 C I 26 27 34 Q 18 African Villages in: I Tanzania.

quantitative estimations can be derived. Though the additional transport will not necessarily refer to commuting. Obviously individual reactions will vary. with 24 per cent teleworkers and an average of 2 full days per week teleworking. it might be too simplistic to suggest that a reduced frequency in commuting will result in reduced travel times. it may extend to other transport purposes. due to the broad range of attitudes and conditions of people. and 10 commuting trips for non-teleworkers. This means. In the case constructed above. For the modelling here it shall be assumed that the modified transport equilibrium will provide the same average commuting time as before the start of telework. 2. compensating travel time wins by travel distance expenditure. that the duration of the average commuting trip will grow reciprocally to the reduction of commuting frequencies. Indeed. At first glance. a distribution 34 . The experience is more that the system simply reacts this way.5 per cent. total distance travelled rises by about 2. Table 4-12: Estimated changes in average speed und duration of commuter trips for selected cases of home-based telework Case Number of trips per week 10 (8) (8) 8 (6) (6) 6 (2) (2) (2) 2 Duration per trip (minutes) 24 24 6 30 24 16 40 24 24 72 120 Speed (km/h) Distance per trip (km) 12 12 6 18 12 16 28 12 24 144 180 Distance travelled per week (km) 120 96 48 144 72 96 168 24 48 288 360 Commutin g time per week (minutes) 240 192 48 240 144 96 240 48 48 144 240 Average speed (km/h) 30 no telework (basis) (addition) 20 per cent telework (basis) (addition) 40 per cent telework (basis) (addition 1) (addition 2) 80 per cent telework 30 30 60 36 30 60 42 30 60 120 90 Source: Wuppertal Institute Using such calculations. The following table 4-12 gives calculations for selected intensities of home-based telework using plausible estimations for the growing speed of longer trips. an extension of commuting distances has to be expected due to the fact that in general longer trips are correlated with higher average speeds: one trip of an hour mostly covers more distance than three trips of twenty minutes each. a standard working week is 5 working days. if the distribution within the teleworking people comes to 40:40:20 per cent for 1.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Therefore. As a basis. and 4 days home-based teleworking. The lesson from the studies is that the saved travel times will be reinvested in additional transport. Therefore the approach should not be misunderstood as a deterministic prognosis on individual consequences of telework. one could suggest that commuting distances may remain the same as a result of the compensatory structure.

Whereas the median and mean distances have been growing rather slowly in the past.4 per cent. Greater “virtual” contact tends to stimulate demand for (physical) business trips. A daily commuting distance of 500 km (both directions) seemed not to be too much. it is a driving force in the process. namely none for the teleworker with 1 home-based working day per week. The residual probabilities for distances above x show a nearly hyperbolic trend.3 Teleconferencing Similarly. In a more cautious calculation it may be suggested that the gains in speed are less important. similar to other transport purposes. Anyway.3. respectively. and 4 days home-based teleworking results in an additional distance travelled of about 2 per cent of all passenger kilometres. 2. the uncertainties are rather big: the distance distribution of commuting is rather leftsided. 4. in this case. The growing tendency of business to split into a number of partnerships and the multinational nature of an ever greater number of individual companies may also stimulate travel. Teleconferencing is not only a consequence of globalisation. Until now. the general experience shows. 35 . for the both distributions of home-based working discussed. while going to the office in Manchester for two days in every two weeks.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI of 40:50:10 per cent for 1. the share of those teleworkers. who work at home most of the time and how their commuting distances will develop seems significant.5. growing distances may override any reduction in the number of trips made. that growing functionality of and access to ICT correlates with growing demands for business travel. the transport models showed significant quantities of employees. these figures may just illustrate the range in which the results can be expected. with a maximum and a median value at a relatively short distance. and to 78 km/h instead of 90 km/h for the teleworker with 4 home-based working days per week (setting the speed in the addition 2 to 100 instead of 120 km/h). It might be as plausible for a teleworker. In reality. a very fast train with magnetic levitation. Both phenomena are supported by teleconferencing techniques and simultaneously spur the international business travel market. numerous rebound mechanisms may reduce the positive contribution of teleconferencing. This would lead to an increase of the total distance travelled of 1. to remain living in Milan. the individual changes often have shown significant leaps. however. • It is difficult to make any overall assessment of the impact of teleconferencing on transport activity since its take up has not been widespread until recently and the feedback loop between “virtual” and physical business contact is unpredictable. Therefore. Again. • The main argument is that the ease of use of teleconferencing will stimulate business contacts on a global scale. When. an accurate modelling needs much more data than is presently available. who would live in Hamburg and work in Berlin or vice versa.9 per cent and 1. the route Hamburg-Berlin was planned for the Transrapid. In particular.

It is possible that the rule of constant travel time budgets may weaken.3. but the point is an the agenda. there are limitations to mobile working. changing trains. standing on a local train or even sitting on a bus provide little opportunity for concentrated computer work. for example. the productive time is traditionally the meeting. 36 . mobile computing allows for better use of remaining travel time. but even access to the world wide web on selected flight routes. whereas most of the travelling time is lost.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 4. but evidence is missing. and the use of full-scale computing is increasingly possible for long-distance passengers. the possibilities are greater but there are still limitations. mobile computing is more likely to be used on longer trips. including necessary breaks if need be. A productive use of most of the travel time would allow for a bigger number of such trips. and two trips of about three hours each. travel time need not be time lost.4 Mobile telework: Additional benefits from travel time While telework and teleconferencing reduce travel and time spent travelling. As a result. Significant shares of work are conducted during travel in singular cases of senior people with a large geographical scope. if travel consists of sitting on a desk and doing office-work using a computer. Nevertheless cellular phones and other handheld devices can easily be used. it obviously may contribute to an expansion of both the number of hours worked.22 Thanks to ICT. 22 The term ”travel time“ is not always used in a uniform sense. Carriers like Lufthansa will start early in 2003 conducting tests facilitating not only the use of laptop computers. In reality. While the normal cellular phone is essential to allow contact to and from the travelling person during any trip. On public transport. particularly if the number of trips by aircraft were to rise. and the number of hours travelled. In the field of transportation. Other concepts not preferred in the study here cover the full travel from the starting point until the return. Commuting by car leaves little opportunity for the use of mobile computing at the same time. as yet. travel time normally denominates the time needed to move from one to the other place. on how this will affect the working and travelling times of larger sections of employees. the idea of mobile teleworking focusses more on the use of ICT during the change of place. The resulting addition to distance travelled would be significant. Although the advantages provided by mobile telework are very clear. Such a trip usually consists of a meeting of about two hours. The standard “one-day-business-trip” benefits in particular from mobile computing. When and how the strict restrictions on ICT use on many flights will be relaxed on a wide scale remains unclear. waiting for a train.

social capital and different aspects of worklife. This report draws on new data from: • GeSI survey. Four in-depth interviews with individual who telework were conducted in autumn 2002. attitudes towards telework and reasons for introducing teleworking. and the mistake lies in thinking that just because we can. organisations and local 2002). Methodology This report draws on numerous reports. Social aspects and changes Telework did not take off as predicted a decade ago. Hence.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 5. The partner companies who responded to the survey are major players in the fields of information and communications technologies. In June 2002 a survey of seven of the companies in the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI) network was conducted. and they are available on www. and performance on indicators of corporate social responsibility. • • • 37 . The survey covered details about the companies’ telework schemes. The reason why it didn’t take off is that “learning and the exchange of knowledge is a social process”. they have a special interest in pioneering solutions. The interviews cover various aspects of ebusiness and sustainability. within their own companies. Digital Europe expert interviews. which highlight the benefits of telework. In autumn 2002 two follow up interviews were conducted with two of the companies about the social aspects of telework and the companies telework strategies. Interviews with teleworkers. The interviews mainly concentrated on work/life balance and learning corporate culture in relation to telework. In the course of the Digital Europe project 10 interviews with experts were conducted. Two interviews (one about the companies use of ebusiness and one about CSR) with one hundred large companies in Europe were conducted in July 2002. In addition to this the Digital Europe project has also produced new sources of information in the area. and not so much on the macro level aspects of telework. Digital Europe commissioned MORI to do a telephone survey investigating the link within companies between the use of and even though more and more people work from home or on the move and mobile technologies allow us to be less tied to one place. the telework revolution has turned out to be a myth. managers. we will – work primarily via technology (Oakley & Campbell. The focus will be on employees. MORI survey on ebusiness and sustainability. It was expected to revolutionise our worklife. This part of the report will take a closer look at the social impacts of telework. surveys and books about telework.

Companies need to build loyalty through other benefits. Just as the global decline in stocks of natural capital threatens our ability to develop sustainably. Networks of human contacts provide the social capital that creates these outcomes. the successful company of the future will be the personalised company. 2001). like other forms of capital. Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam defines social capital as “the social networks and the norms of reciprocity associated with them” (Putman. in ways that simultaneously protect and enhance the Earth’s life support systems. 2001). Staff retention is a huge challenge but recruitment is a costlier one. Telework is changing the relationship between individuals. A s digital commentator Charles Leadbeater argues. But with greater transparency and information available. and as Professor Jane Fountain remarks. HP spend 150. telework is one of a number of incentives in the hands of employers being used to attract and retain the most talented staff. but there are characteristics of social capital that justify the use of the term capital. Social capital can be analysed. such as flexibility and training. sustainable development and telework Sustainable development – the overall focus of the Digital Europe project – is a dynamic process that enables all people to realise their potential and improve their quality of life. On average it costs an employer one third of an employee’s salary if that employee has to be replaced. it was in response to the Clean Air Act in the USA. a haircut or piece of financial advice cannot. value is created through the quality of service delivered by employees. We will come back to social capital through out the report. the best are far more aware of their worth and are equipped with the tools and networks to seek out and exploit greener pastures. 2002). They have been described as “free agents” (Pink. worked with and made to yield benefits.000 USD over 25 months on training a new engineer before it sees any return on the investment (Cohen & Prusak. tailoring its offering to the needs of individual customers and employees (Leadbeater. We can think of sustainable development in terms of maintaining certain types of capital stocks and living off the income – social capital is one of these stocks. 2001). This definition makes it clear that achieving sustainable development is not simply about manipulating the environment. invested in. 2000). accumulates when used productively…” (Prusak & Cohen.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 5. work and communities. Not everything of value should be called capital. And the raw material which goes to make up the services we consume is increasingly human ideas and creativity: human capital is a critical economic asset. “social capital. High levels of positive social capital in society are manifested in positive social outcomes such as lower crime and better levels of health and happiness. A production line can be automated. 38 . 2001) . while people pursue business as usual. According to management expert Richard Florida. Lucrative salary packages alone can never be enough.‘high on human capital and low on loyalty’ (Knell. “Access to talented and creative people is to modern business what access to coal and iron ore was to steel-making” (Florida. 5. 2002). At the beginning of the 21st century.2 Social capital. In a service-driven economy.1 Human Capital in the knowledge economy When AT&T first piloted telework in 1989. It is a social and economic project as much as an environmental project. and one with the very positive objective of optimising human well-being. Finding the best talent and holding on to it is the key to success. and therefore it has an impact on social capital.

Building corporate social capital virtually poses a challenge but an increasingly real one in companies where working patterns and location are flexible and Corporate social capital. such as taking children to school or being at home when children return from school.3 Work/Life balance This section is about the relationship between teleworking employee’s working life and the rest of their lives. A report with the final results from the can be downloaded from www. The flip side is that nearly 20 per cent report that things are worse after taking up telework (Families. More about this in 5.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI Social capital is a term most frequently applied to societies. 2002). Whilst flexibility of location may improve individual quality of life.3. 5. For example nearly 60 per cent of respondents of the European Families project report that they feel better after work and generally feel a positive effect of teleworking on their family life. and Interrole conflict and working hours. 11 per cent spend less. 2002). The remaining 80 per cent of teleworkers spend the same amount of time with their families as they did before. allowing teleworkers greater flexibility in their living arrangements. Telework offers employers a means to respond to demands for improved flexibility and retain valuable employees. while 9 per cent of teleworkers in the US report spending more time with their families since taking up telework. Furthermore. it has environmental consequences with teleworkers frequently living further away from the office than the average employee (see chapter 4 for further discussion of environmental impact). while still experiencing an improved quality of life (Pew. the ability to telework means that work location need not bear so heavily on decisions concerning the location of the family. (The study shows that most of those 20 per cent are teleworkers that work shifts. Studies indicate that telework has a positive effect on family life. For example. It is equally relevant to corporate success. rather they enjoy greater flexibility to choose when to spend time with their families. 56 per cent of teleworkers who receive competing job offers factor the ability to work at home into their decision to stay with the company. It will be looking at work and family23. This does not necessarily mean that teleworkers spend more time with their families.families-project. 23 For more further in-depth research about telework in relation to specific family types or types of work we refer to the Families project (The project is a study of interactions between family trends and new work methodes in the European Information Society). A better work/family balance is among the top three reasons for choosing telework given by employees at five of the companies surveyed. (For full details of the survey results conducted with the Global eSustainability Initiative. Told that they could no longer work from home. 2002). balancing family and work commitments is a growing challenge for employees and employers alike. see Annex 1). 39 . 5. According to AT&T. It has been identified as a key determinant of national economic success.1 Work and family With more women working full time and more households having two working parents. community involvement and social life. one in three teleworkers would look for another job within the company or quit (AT&T.) Working from home at least part of the week enables parents to fit work around family commitments.

2002). I’m more likely to want to stay in.2 extra hours per week and individuals who work one day a week at home put in 10. A SusTel survey of BT’s teleworkers backs these findings. the full extent of change will only emerge over time. These structural changes have been incremental.2 Community involvement and social life Spending more time at home seems to allow teleworkers to be more active not only in family life but also in their wider social networks and local community. If I have been in the car for an hour and a half. suburbanisation. Some explanations for this are: saving time and eliminating the stress of commuting.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 5. The SusTel survey also shows that BT teleworkers report significant improvements in their quality of life. 2001). guilt factor (a need to prove that home working is not skiving) and finally being more productive at work. 2002). 5. If we are at the beginning of a rebirth of local community brought about be new working patterns. despite working longer hours. and it is the personal and family level that benefits most significantly from more hours at home.over the last years. This increased involvement in the local community can substitute for limited workplace interaction (ECaTT. as long working hours are usually associated with stress. (SusTel. the last factor seems particularly relevant. 2000). However as the data shows the implications for community involvement do not seem to be that significant. I can finish work at a reasonable and predictable time instead of being stuck in traffic. The private struggles seems to be more apparent than the lack of community involvement.5 per cent the same number of hours as before starting telework (SusTel.3 Interrole conflict and working hours On average. single or double income families and single or double parent families). greater control over time. concluding that only 2 per cent of the teleworkers had reduced their working hours while 68. domestic tension and other factors that reduce quality of life. the possibility of fitting domestic tasks into lunch breaks.3. A teleworking consultant comments that working from home allows him to plan his evenings better: “When I am working at home I am more inclined to do something social. This seems paradoxical. A study of Norwegian teleworkers conducted by Telenor found that several were able to entertain friends at lunch or on weekday evenings due to the flexibility of being at home (Evjemo et al. This is hardly surprising – changes in the organisation of community happen over time. and 6 per cent spend more time on these activities after taking up telework (SusTel. Individuals who combine home working with mobile working put in an average of 11. 2000). 40 . The role and structure of communities have changed throughout history and gone through different phases closely connected to trends in working life. the welfare state. since people who chose to 24 25 Telephone interview about telework conducted by Forum for the Future.3. extended families. residential patterns and public institutions (urbanisation. 2002 The report sugest that one of the reasons for this very high number is that the majority of the respondents have teleworked for several years and that the general work presure and working hours in BT has gone up for all employees – teleworkers and nonteleworkers . 2002).9 hours overtime a week (ECaTT. family structures. teleworkers tend to work longer hours than their colleagues in the office.5 per cent worked longer hours25 and 29.”24 A recent study in the US found that teleworkers were more likely to use the internet to get involved with groups in their community than non-teleworkers (Horrigan & Rainie. According to Peter Hopkinson from Bradford University. The SusTel survey for the UK reports that 14 per cent of teleworkers found it easier to get involved with community activities (the majority of these are school-related). 2002).

That can be a nine to five day consisting of work only. But there is definitely a correlation between the two”26 Change in weekly working hours in EU Regular teleworkers Supplementary teleworkers Non-teleworkers 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Decreased 0 hours 1-5 hours 6-10 hours 11-20 hours 20+ hours Note: Supplementary teleworkers (also called occasional teleworkers) are by EcaTT defined as people that work at home less that one full day on a weekly basis. 1996). But a 1999 internet survey in the UK found that between a quarter and a third of home-based teleworkers reported not having a dedicated room for telework. The existence of a dedicated workspace in the home seems to be key to avoiding potential role conflict. Employees at Partner D identify separating work and private life as a barrier to telework. “Interrole conflict” appears to be more pronounced for individuals with families where the infiltration of work into family time can be resented by family members. A study conducted by Eurescom found that telework can have a negative impact on partners if the teleworker overworks or is always on call (Eurescom. but having to create space within a room used for other purposes (Green at al. a working day broken up to make time for childcare or five working days squashed into four or some other arrangement (Forum for the Future Interviews. Mills describes this anxiety as “the interrole conflict that can be experienced by an individual when the role pressures from employment and family domains are incompatible or conflicting” (Mills et al. Joseph Roitz from AT&T agrees with this: “It is a chicken-and-egg question of whether virtual officing causes higher performance or whether higher performers are more likely to want (and get permission) to work from home full time. 2000). For others working from home can blur the boundaries between work and private life. It seems that problems with interrole conflicts are particularly acute in the early days of teleworking. 26 Telephone interview about telework conducted by Forum for the Future. “In order to be successful. 2001). and create feelings of guilt when they are not working. Families case studies. 2001 Figure 4-1: Change in weekly working hours in EU Some workers use their home office to finish off tasks they have not completed in the office in order to make a heavy workload “the spice of life not the kiss of death”. 2000). 2001). 2002 41 . 2002.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI telework are in general highly motivated by being productive. Source: EcaTT. The majority of people find their own rhythm and balance between work and private life after teleworking for some months. it is necessary to have an organised workspace with clear boundaries between work and household spaces” (Gurstein.

1 Job satisfaction 20.6 22. Changes in work-related factors after taking up telework Social aspects of work/job/business Work stress 6. But for individuals permanently away from the office. When you are feeling down or have a problem coming in to the office will probably help that. When you 42 .2 provides an overview of telework’s impact on various factors of worklife. working away from the office can be a lonely business.3 51 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Source: Families project: “Results of family survey – Deliverable No.5 41.3 28. Exceeding this threshold stretches the desirable limits of telework. Figure 5. The data generally paints a mixed picture – there are few clear messages. Among non-teleworkers.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 5.9 Nature of the work 16. 48 per cent fear telework would cause social isolation. which can cause stress.9 38.1 Career prospects 0 10 32.1 Isolation and social capital Even though teleworkers rarely spend all their time at home. 38 per cent of teleworkers at Partner B say that lack of interaction with others is a barrier to telework.5 35. Permanent home or mobile workers can become isolated. the pendulum swings the other way. overworked and stressed. The findings do make one message clear. Individuals working permanently from home report feelings of social isolation.3 38.4. Research indicates that working one to three days away from the office and the remaining time in the office maximises benefits to employees and employers. More than three-quarter of teleworkers report that their job-satisfaction has increased since beginning telework.8 37.4 30.9 Decreased / not a lot / worse No change / a little Increased / a lot / better 26.4 75. improved staff retention. An ex-teleworker describes his experiences of isolation and support from colleagues: “Working from home is not good for support. and even lower costs through reduced office space.4 Working from home Greater autonomy over when and where people work seems to enhance job satisfaction and allow individuals to better balance the competing demands of home and working life. 3”. 2002 Figure 5-2: Changes in work-related factors after taking up telework 5. This brings benefits to employers in the form of increased productivity. Another message is that telework in most cases doesn’t change career prospects.

After fear over data security. According to Ian Wood from BT it is important to have a culture where it is acceptable or even expected to call colleagues for no other reason than a supportive chat. that everyone knows what it is like to be working home alone and needing support from a colleague. Doherty. It is not very easy to get out of feeling down when you are isolated at home. For these reasons. 20 per cent of 27 Telephone interview about telework conducted by Forum for the Future.3. 1999) Furthermore the workplace offers an exposure to a social diversity that people don’t experience in other forums such as in sports clubs. etc.4. 2000). even in larger companies with established telework schemes. and almost always share gossip and news. fear of decreases in productivity and quality of work when employees work from home are the two most common reasons given for not introducing telework (ECaTT. Because of this workplaces represent the “ripest venue for bridging social capital. For example. in which people connect across social divides” (Better Together. In a report for the US Department of Labor. collegiality. teleworkers at BT. Cable and Wireless and Sonera Corporation report a positive impact on productivity.” (Nie.”27 At BT and AT&T where telework has been practised for more than ten years isolation does not seem to be a significant problem.2 Performance Working from home allows teleworkers to benefit from a quieter working environment and greater concentration. with 56 per cent saying they were “as productive”. so the importance of the work place for social interaction has grown. 6 per cent “less productive” and 31 per cent “more productive”. Andrey and Johnson suggest that selfassessment by teleworkers may lead to inflated estimates.3 about long working hours). 2000). between neighbours.) Paradoxically. Improved productivity is the second most important reason (71 per cent) for choosing telework among teleworkers at AT&T. frequently find mates. places of worship. As the significance of extended family and local community as sources of individual identity and social belonging has waned. Similarly. a place where people make friends. This is reflected in improved performance. 2002 43 . a US West Survey which asked people to rate the productivity of their organisation’s teleworkers was more measured.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI work at home you don’t have the support of your colleagues. 5. “The workplace has actually been elevated to one of the few remaining predictable sources of personal contact. even though it has been shown that telework on average has a positive influence on employees performance. and longer working hours (See also section 5. Telework seems to improve the performance of many but this is not universal. a combination of working at home or on the move and in the office is often seen at the best solution. (If the performance goes up for teleworkers in an organisation. AT&T estimates this to be worth $65 million. Telework has been so widely used for years in BT. voluntary organisation. as it will have an impact on the general performance level of the organisation. Employees miss out on this when working permanently away from the office. Middle management resistance to telework is common. Teleworkers at American Express handled 26 per cent more calls and produced 43 per cent more business than their office-based counterparts (Canadian Telework Association. and community in an increasingly isolated society. 2000). and teleworkers reportedly gain an extra hour of productive time each day spent at home. fear of less productive workers is still one of the biggest barriers for managers. this will also effect non-teleworkers. A survey of employees in the Mobility Initiative at IBM found that 87 per cent believed themselves to be more productive.

One of the advantages of elearning is that it can be done wherever and whenever . 5. Heather McInroy from BAA talked about this at a workshop about telework28: “I still get embarrassed if I take a work phone call while shopping in Waitrose. and I maybe try to hide where I am. “You learn less when you telework. and communication. 2002 Telephone interview about telework conducted by Forum for the Future. Soft skills are better facilitated through social interaction. Even though virtual communication is a form of social interaction.for example at home. When I used to work in an office environment I could go and talk to an expert when ever I wanted. have a talk and learn something from that. There is definitely an effect of having different people in one room at the same time. The “Out of sight . The learning curves for graduates are steeper than people further into their carrier. A shift in mentality is needed.4. Building social capital and getting to know an organisation is easier through face to face contact. talking to people etc. social and networking skills). budgeting and technical skills) elearning would often lack the ability to facilitate learning of soft skills (intangible skills like emotional intelligence.” This leaves an apparent need to educate. It means that you are exposed to different views etc. While elearning can be excellent for acquiring what can be called hard skills (tangible skills like IT skills. 28 29 SusTel workshop. and that learning must be supported and inspired by being in an office environment .listening to colleague’s phone conversations. While the border between soft and hard skills is not always clear. I’m still learning this. This is why most organisations don’t offer telework solutions for new employees straight away . or I would bump into an expert in the corridor. where the focus is on outcomes and not hours in the office.unless forced by the need to attract a scarce talent or skill. Corporate social capital. The next section.3 Learning Communication technology has come a long way. A consultant interviewed for the Forum for the Future survey explains that he is sure that teleworking has an effect on his on the job training. influence and support managers as well as telewokers. Elearning products are improving. London.g if you were in a meeting every day you would learn about chairing meetings. What you learn from being in an office environment and what you can learn via elearning on an individual basis are different things and it is crucial to make this distinction. it is still a useful distinction to work with when working with learning strategies.”29 Learning less on the job particularly effects graduates. This is also the case with new employees.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI employees at Partner F telework but 15 per cent of teleworkers report managerial resistance as a barrier to telework. But why should I. E.out of mind”-thinking seems to be very difficult to shake off. And also learn from other people in the office on a day to day basis. I should be embarrassed if I don’t reach my targets. is about corporate social capital soft skills. than via ICT. but not having face to face contact does still make learning and knowledge sharing difficult. soft skills are often problematic to acquire for permanent homeworkers without a lot of face to face contact. watching people chairing meetings. more and more organisations are using elearning in one form or another. 2002 44 .

but brainwaves over a coffee or an after-work drink. as it is perceived as a sign of trust on the part of colleagues and managers. it is also a precondition for telework. working at home one or two days a week does not seem to weaken social relationships between teleworkers and colleagues. but also key to corporate success. In In Good Company Cohen & Prusak write about how the nature of companies changes over time: “Coworkers define and redefine who they are as a group in part by sharing and monitoring reactions to events at work. This is corporate social capital – “the glue that holds the company together and the grease that keeps it moving. and the chat you have with everyone afterwards. teleworkers are able to actively maintain social interactions. Coherent organisations with a clear sense of organisational identity. passed on through daily contact. It is tacit knowledge in the heads of company employees. You have the chance to pick up more information. Equally. it wouldn’t be the time or place for discussing any other issues. This is particularly relevant in overcoming management resistance to telework.. and the thousands of other subjects that form the currency of daily communication. A non-teleworker interviewed for the Telenor report commented: “If he is in his office. When you have a webconference you are purely focused on the product update or what ever it might be. informal interaction builds the trust that ensures teams function effectively and tasks are successfully completed. strong social capital and 30 Telephone interview about telework conducted by Forum for the Future. Much of the knowledge held within a company cannot be written down and transferred as zeros and ones. Corporate social culture and corporate culture are complex organic systems. Generally he w a s pleased with it because it allowed him to have meetings with people in offices in different parts of the country more often. But it isn’t quite the same as face to face meetings: “In a face to face meeting there is the informal contact you have when you go into the room. An interviewee in the Forum for the Future survey talked about a new web-conference system that his company had recently introduced. as it can be difficult to maintain with less face to face contact.. strengthening connections in hundreds of small ways and making new connections. news of the outside world. But informal communication is much reduced. the behavior of bosses and subordinates. and maybe even get involved in opportunities as a result of that. By going to the office one or two days a week.5 Corporate social capital There is growing awareness that informal social interaction is not only important for individual well being. In fact. then you have to have a specific matter to discuss” (Evjerno et al.” (Cohen & Prusak. 2002 45 . you just check if he is free.”30 According to qualitative research on Norwegian teleworkers conducted by Telenor. in part because of some uncertainty on the part of nonteleworking colleagues as to the level of acceptable communication with a teleworking colleague.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 5.then you can just drop in and have a short break. often by chance. 2002). If you are going to call somebody you know is in his home-office. telework can increase employee loyalty. They solidify and redefine group membership. weather. 2001) As much as telework challenges corporate social capital. Many of the most successful ideas are not the outcomes of scheduled meetings.” Telework poses a challenge to corporate social capital.

draining it in others. and recommendations at an organisational level. At the same time pressure. However it seems that most people working from home prefer to be very structured about when they start and finish work to prevent work invading their private life.. 2001). however these types of workers will still be able to benefit from the majority of the recommendations. To build and maintain social capital Cohen & Prusak recommend “. Some people try to fit regular exercise or house work into their day when working from home. Expect it to take a while to find your own routine. 2000). Regular face to face contact is key in these issues. storytelling. 5. In other words “The workplace plays a dual social capital role – nurturing it in some ways. 1.) In each case. As this report has outlined there are some opportunities arising from telework. 46 ..“a centre of meaning. 2000) Telework and flexiwork can be used to try to make the draining part of work less draining and enhance the nurturing side.6 Recommendations for telework Our workplaces have become important sources of social capital . The recommendations are based on the research and findings of this report. and mutual support. Treat Telework as an Individual Experience Find your own pace. Other people mark the end of a working day by calling their line manager to report on the day as a way of facilitating self-discipline. and generally paying close attention to time management. and meeting in social spaces over time as principal social capital investments” (Cohen & Prusak.” (Better Together. This section draws conclusions that reflect these opportunities and risks and puts forward recommendations that seek to capitalise on the opportunities and minimise the risks.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI a deep reservoir of trust are more likely to be successful in teleworking than fragmented organisations (Cohen & Prusak. stress and long hours are taking time and energy away from our social and family lives. membership. Splitting the day up and working more in the evening seems to be working for many home workers with caring responsibilities. and teleworking allows you to be creative in organising your workday to accommodate these needs. But telework is by no means a magic wand that can be waved over overworked knowledge workers to make them work harder or call centre employees to save office space. working side by side to build trust and mutual understanding. but also some threats. and management must be aware of that. When you work in an office there is often by default a set of routines to follow. People have different needs and different ways of working. Another major factor for successful teleworking is setting small goals that are achievable. and are targeted at two levels: recommendations for individuals. When working away from the office you have to create these routines yourself. recommendations for individual teleworkers are presented first followed by recommendations for companies.” (Better Together.conversation. The ability to find a rhythm that suits you and stick to it seems to be key to a happy work life away from the office. (These two levels do not apply to freelancers and other self employed teleworkers. 2001).

Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI

Companies must focus on the individual employee. As this report shows telework is an individual experience, and it is important that the organisation is aware of that. Managers must stop managing offices and start managing people. The employer should also be aware of the fact that employee’s situations are likely to change as people are going though different life and career stages. People move, get divorced, are promoted, get married, have children and take on other caring responsibilities etc., and their motivations and abilities to work change accordingly. Appraisal sessions with the teleworker’s line manager can be used to monitor these changes. These changes and individual needs draw attention to the importance of being able to reverse telework arrangements. Telework shouldn’t be a life sentence. Teleworking agreements are mostly agreements between individuals. An organisation can create a policy structure and a receptive environment, but in most cases if the direct manager doesn’t like telework then employees aren’t teleworking. In reality it is generally individual employees and managers who make the decision to implement a telework arrangement.

2. Prioritise Communication and Co-ordination
Be aware of the limits to, and advantages of, virtual communication. When working away from the office communication skills become essential as you rely more on virtual communication. You and your colleague’s communications skills are the safeguards against isolation and are vital for knowledge sharing and collaboration. Virtual communication is not as rich as face to face communication, and that makes it a challenge. E.g. on the phone you are not aware of body language, and on email you lack the tone and intonation of the voice. This means that you can easily miss subtleties, and this increases the risk of misunderstandings. It is important to know when different communications media are appropriate, and the use of a mix of communications techniques (email, intranet, web/teleconferencing and face to face communication) is key to successful communication. One rule of thumb is that generally email is good for factual matters, summarising meetings and co-ordination, while face to face communication works better for more creative brainstorming and conceptual or sensitive discussions. Another characteristic of email and instant messaging is that because of its asynchronous nature it allows communication to take place that wouldn’t otherwise happen. It is not tied to time and place, and therefore it can foster a different kind of creativity to face-to-face contact, e.g. it allows one to send out an email at 3:00 a.m. when the idea strikes. Virtual communication is not only characterised by being less rich, it is also likely to mean less, and more focused communication. This is often seen as a big advantage of telework, as it allows teleworkers to work undisturbed and be more productive. However the flip side of not having ad hoc conversations in the office is missing out on opportunities to pick up information - learning from others and following what is happening in the organisation. The limits to, and advantages of, virtual communication are also important in relation to telework and learning. Some skills are more easily acquired away from the office than others. Generally hard (tangible) skills are easier to acquire than soft (intangible) skills when teleworking (see also section 5.4.3. about learning). Another feature of informal office chat is the emotional support it often provides. It may take some practice to pick up the phone and talk to a colleague with the sole purpose of snapping yourself out of the bad day you are having.


Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI

Create opportunities for face to fact contact. An organisation with teleworking employees also has a responsibility (and it is also in the company’s interests) to make its teleworkers feel a part of the organisation and not give them the impression that they are disconnected satellites. One way of doing this is by facilitating opportunities for colleagues to meet, for example by synchronising the days people are in and out of the office. The majority of teleworkers have days in the office, and having a core day when everybody is in on the same day without scheduled external meetings will optimise the opportunity for fact to face contact.

3. Make sure roles are clearly defined
Know your role in the organisation. Working away from the office requires a basic understanding of office life, of the organisation, the team, your own tasks and role within the organisation. Therefore it is rarely a good idea for young people just starting their carrier to work on their own at home. They need to learn what it means to be in an office environment, and be supported and inspired in their learning. This is also, to a certain degree, the case with new employees. It is not easy to establish a relationship with colleagues, get to know an organisation and become familiar with a new role without being physically present. This is an important point because as more and more educational programs become virtual, employees just out of college will be more prepared to work on their own at home. Telework is more suitable for discrete or very defined projects, and it is important to be clear about your role in the project and what you need from others. If you use telework as a dumping ground for things you need to catch up on and unclear tasks, you might not enjoy the benefits of a more flexible way of working. Teleworking is not a magic wand that can solve problems with overworking, unclear roles etc. It seems that people learn somewhat less when they work at home than when they work in the office, due to less interaction with other people and the exposure to less ‘random knowledge’. (This is less apparent and important for senior employees). This can be seen as a trade off for being more efficient working at home. Again it is important to be aware of what kind of competencies you can learn while teleworking and what you can’t. The organisational structure must support telework. The tendency to reward hours spent in the office rather than outcomes has led to a long hours culture in much of Europe. But, successful telework needs a new style of management where employees are judged on performance and are trusted to complete tasks out of sight of their line manager. Management support for telework is crucial to bringing down barriers to telework and creating a supportive culture. A new style of management in turn depends on wider organisational change where units are given significant responsibility and work in a network configuration rather than being tightly controlled within a top-down, hierarchical organisation (which is also the case with non-telworking organisations).

4. Consider Equipment and Surroundings


Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI

Make sure you have the right equipment at home. The rapid development of information and communication technologies makes it easier and easier for people to telework. Broadband is reducing problems with file transfers, laptops are becoming more affordable, mobile technologies are making us less dependent on one place and better collaborative software is becoming available. Despite all these technological improvements the fact is that ICT problems still cause stress and take up a lot of employee’s time. There is a risk that this problem will be greater for people working away from the office, partly because they rely even more on ICT than office based workers, and partly because the access to IT support might be poorer. Teleworkers must be prepared for this. The optimal home office solution is working in a separate room (that is unfortunately in some EU countries an unrealistic target for the majority of teleworking workforce, due to the high cost of property). Having a dedicated office space at home helps balance work and private life, as it is easier to stop working when you can physically leave the room and close the door. Do not neglect ICT support and health and safety regulations in home offices. Organisations are obliged to live up to health and safety regulations, but at the moment the coverage of employees work from a home office is a grey area. Which means it can easily be forgotten. Neglecting health and safety can lead to absence, unhappy employees and even legal disputes. The employer must make sure that employees are aware of the regulations, and that there is support from the organisation to help them comply with them. It is also the organisation’s responsibility to offer ICT systems that support teleworking, such as an Intranet, server access and firewalls. In the light of the fact that ICT problems are more infuriating when you are on your own, out of reach of the ICT department, it is valuable to have a dedicated IT support hotline for teleworkers. However, this is only realistic in large corporations with many teleworkers. Another solution is for large firms is to integrate telework into existing help desk systems as part of an overall centralisation strategy. In this way all employees can call one phone number for IT support, regardless of their location.

5. Don’t Underestimate the Role of Trust and Values
A sense of belonging can make it easier to work away from the office. A shared sense of identity can create a feeling of connection to the organisation and overcome some limitations of virtual communication and remoteness. Changing the organisational culture and values to support telework is a long journey. If an organisation chooses to be largely telework based, such a choice is likely to require a change in mentality at all levels of the organisation. A High level of trust within an organisation is key to creating an environment that supports telework and overcoming disconnection and isolation. But building trust is a longer process than putting the right technology in place or changing the formal structures of the organisation. It develops overtime from a shared identity, shared myths and regular interaction. Companies need to invest on all these fronts over the long term. Company values can play an important role as the basis for trust building, particularly where company values leverage the personal values of individual employees.

self-expression and openness to 50 . It is part of the wider shift taking place in the economy from industrial production to service-based. “The eight-hour day and five day week is disappearing with the global. constituting the largest consumer purchasing bloc in the world. Its success is based on its network structure. (2) a flat hierarchy. visa. not task. The challenge of building social capital in the absence of personal contact is a reality across large corporations made up of networks of smaller units which are geographically scattered. competitive world and a move to the 24/7 culture”. Manuel Castells characterises this shift as being from vertical bureaucracies to the horizontal corporation and points to seven major trends: (1) organisation around process. the challenges that accompany managing teleworkers are increasingly common. standardised organisations with clear ‘Christmas tree’ lines of management and accountability. 1996). (4) measuring performance by customer satisfaction. the system of mass-production has become too rigid and costly to sustain. The blurring of work and home of which teleworkers complain is increasingly a challenge for knowledge workers in general. Visa. (5) rewards based on team performance. (6) maximisation of contacts with suppliers and customers. The challenges faced by teleworkers. where the connections can easily be broken and re-made in a short amount of time according to demand. This new organisational form could be called a network organisation. relying on a large number of connections between smaller businesses. the credit card company. Hierarchical command structures controlled specialised employees who would perform precisely defined tasks in a repetitive and predictable manner. This was true in government or schools as much as it was in industry. is an oft-quoted example of this type of restructuring. Some embrace and exploit this newly found freedom.000 financial institutions to oversee transactions. but a co-ordinating body owned by 21. training and retraining of employees at all levels (Castells. often subcontracting to small and medium sized businesses whose flexibility allows productivity gains for the large corporations as well as for the economy as a whole. Hence large companies have adopted new business models.7 Telework and work in the digital economy Telework is not an isolated Mobile technologies mean that we are always within reach. and (7) information. What sets the creative class apart are its norms: “individuality. but Visa has no assets other than its relationships (Leadbeater. as the Management researchers Crisp. 2002). In 2002. 1999. Individuals from across the globe must develop enough shared understanding and trust to ensure effective virtual collaboration. Foley and Lievonen put it in a recent report about location awareness in working life (Crisp et al. new technologies and new creative content. their colleagues and managers are broader challenges associated with work in the digital economy. They were characterised by large uniform. Richard Florida argues that a new “creative” class is emerging in the US whose function is to create new ideas. As demand for products and services has become unpredictable and markets diversified to become global. over $2 trillion in goods and services will be purchased using Visa. Now the story is different. No time is dead time anymore. knowledge-intensive industries. The organisational forms of the twentieth century were designed for economies based on material goods. Digital technologies are driving significant change within the workplace and disrupting traditional patterns of communication and team building. timeless. Companies have also restructured internally. (3) team management. It’s not really a company at all. not only bringing work into the home but also into commuting time. As corporate hierarchies flatten and networks become global.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 5.

Email. Norms of communication will develop. we need social innovation – new ways of communicating. If change is not to undermine corporate social capital and individual quality of life. for its people. although not necessarily teleworkers themselves. Teleworkers are still in the minority and many organisations are stuck in the industrial age model of an officebased workforce. a new management style. But values can only be the corporate glue if they reflect reality. Corporate culture and identity have always been important. For example a Digital Europe survey concludes that almost half of the respondents consider the effects of email to be largely negative. “Only a company that can match investment in technology with the necessary organisational change will make the most of its initial investment” (Caincross. change causes stress. Some said that email was “detrimental to relationships” and that the “personal touch” had been lost31. It is no longer enough to talk the talk. 2002 51 . But for many. common values are critical to social capital. Companies do not spend millions on branding only for the sake of the market. but few have made the necessary organisational changes. 2002). Many larger companies have invested in intranet/telework portals. This will mitigate some of the negative effects of telework and prevent corporate social capital from being eroded. instant messaging and online collaboration provide new means of communication. 31 Telephone interview about ebusiness and SD conducted by Forum for the Future. In the networked economy. As the world’s largest mobile operating company. organisations will adapt to better accommodate remote workers and the tools available to teleworkers will improve. managerial resistance will decrease. insecurity. conformity and fitting in“ (Florida. But ICT alone is not enough. social and ethical responsibility.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI difference over homogeneity. Companies are expected to put their values into practice in the form of environmental. particularly in Europe compared with the US. ICT is both the problem and part of the solution. Intranets and portals are new tools for maintaining corporate culture. for results and for “the world around us”. and even fear. Vodafone has built a global network of operating companies around four core passions – for customers. social innovation will take place. a focus on outcomes rather than hours spent in the office. corporate responsibility is a prerequisite to attracting and retaining the best employees. 2002) – the creative class is well placed to embrace the opportunities of the changing work place. But in the absence of regular contact. A global network needs values to bind it together. Telework is still in its infancy. As more people become familiar with telework. data security. hardware and connections for employees.

rough estimations can be made for telephone conferences (without visual support) and the technically more sophisticated videoconferencing. Evaluation and deductions Data quality Fortunately data on actual experiences with telework and teleconferencing are becoming available in growing numbers. The data given by the GeSI partners confirms this portion. The published quantitative data bases as well 32 A crucial point for the evaluation of telework itself as well as for the evaluation of transport consequences is made by lacking precision in marking off traditional home and mobile work from new forms enabled by ICT. which are estimated to be rather high and far above the average for all employees. Multipoint videoconferences are comparatively rare. Assuming continued technical progress in the development of ICT. Nevertheless the possibility of comparing the data is still poor as very different definitions are used. representing roughly 10 per cent of the working days of the complete labour force. The quantitative potentials of home-based telework can be estimated to cover 40 per cent of the working days of about a quarter of all employees. The evaluation of teleconferencing suffers from similar problems. This is based on single commuting distances. Our findings suffer from the shortcomings. As a result they save about 2. The impact of telework and teleconferencing on transport – experience up to now Individual case studies and panel surveys which are mostly based on small quantities of teleworkers show that teleworkers typically work about 1. roughly 5 per cent of the labour force in Europe can be classified as teleworkers. the differences between the data available and those required for substantial calculation schemes are obvious. However. Additional selected examples show a broader range in the individual shares.5 full days per week at home as an average. the growth potentials are very high.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 6. In particular in respect to transport issues it may be understandable. 52 . as the numbers of business contacts desired will probably also rise. However.32 Extent of telework and teleconferencing As the ECaTT-survey shows. including mobile teleworkers.500 kilometres distance travelled for commuting annually. that specific data are mostly missing. as the transport statistics in general show several weaknesses. Telephone conferences appear as a standard (at least between two people) and they are generally accessible for those who want to. more technically sophisticated and at present only available on request. Clear concepts dealing with necessary and with sufficient conditions are missing widely. Determining the extent of teleconferencing is more difficult as accurate data is not available.

Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI as the composition of the respective surveyed groups of teleworkers do not allow sound statistical extrapolation. under the present trends. In the transport sector the access to transport means and the level of service (in particular the available speeds) in general are growing as well while at the same time the specific costs are falling (cost per passenger kilometre in relation to the average monthly budget). Due to the composition of business trips from rather different subgroups including delivery or service trips. though some of the studies derive estimations on the overall passenger transport effect. In a “best-case” scenario the transport saving was calculated without including any rebound effects. which raises difficulties for general deductions. the difference between both extremes is high enough not to be neglected. This does not support the hypothesis of transport saving due to teleconferencing. From the macro view on passenger transport. because of time and cost aspects. Nevertheless. but emphasises the impression that business trips and the use of enhanced ICT in business grow together. the ICT as well as the transport. published results suggest that teleconferences mostly substitute business trips that would otherwise be carried out physically. the bandwidth of likely developments was modelled with two scenarios. commuting and business travel may also expand if teleconferencing does not replace some of it. Contrary to that. coming to savings of about 1 per cent of all commuting distances travelled in 1999. maybe every forth or fifth teleconference is reported to trigger additional business trips. Relevant problems on evaluation result from missing investigation and analysis. that business air travel shows the highest growth rates. the models resulted in a potential transport saving of up to 1. commonly labelled “globalisation”.5 per cent in worst case. However. Only a small portion. and a potential transport expansion of up to 2. As general access to ICT. a “worst-case” scenario was based on the constant travel-time hypothesis: less frequent trips would result in a longer duration of the individual trips. to what extent ICT contributes to the ongoing process of enlarging the geographical scope of business activities. Neither scenario is very likely. it may be a strong point. Therefore. because the underlying processes of developing telework structures and the adaptation to these structures will take a couple of years.6 per cent of all passenger kilometres travelled in the best case. though at the same time this may be a focus for substitution by teleconferencing. 53 . an interpretation is not easy. Nevertheless. For teleconferencing. The basis for these findings is rather small and casuistic. familiarity with ICT and the functions of ICT are generally assumed to be growing while specific costs are falling. Future perspectives of telework and teleconferencing The future perspectives are somewhat unclear and will depend on the changing conditions on both sides. Looking from a macro perspective at passenger transport does not reveal a significant influence from home-based telework on the number of commuting trips nor the commuting distances travelled. Referring to home-based telework. and from a day-per-day perspective the changes may hardly be felt. business trips (and in particular the respective distances travelled) prove to be increasing in number significantly. Given the present composition of professions in the total labour force. it can be assumed that the spread of telework and teleconferencing will grow. marginal effects in any direction may be simply be invisible.

This truly will depend more on the conditions for participating in air travel than in teleconferencing. Beyond the possibilities of physical travel to meetings and of teleconferences for virtual meetings. 54 .Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI For the future of teleconferencing and the results for the transport systems. a quantitative modelling did not seem fairly substantiated. From an environmental perspective special interest should be given to the growing business air travel. which might turn out to be one of the crucial elements to meet or to miss greenhouse targets. The general impression may read that business travel will grow with or without growing use of ICT. and maybe even more with growing ICT use. the future may provide us with the option to combine both of them: joining teleconferences while travelling to a real meeting onboard an Internetenabled aircraft.

easily will jeopardise the potential benefits of ICT: ICT may stimulate more transport than it saves. aims at a combined realisation of the respective appropriate measures to optimise particularly the commuting travel to a business location. 55 . Reviewed speed limits. and for selected countries. Internalisation of external costs of transport. this gives space to reduce the speeds in physical transport. the cost of speed and the cost of sprawl. though the former represent remarkable shares of all trips. The recommendations deal with providing a sound information basis. Further on. comprehension should have grown that ICT deserves a fair judgement. particularly high-speed and long-distance. business and academia. correction is even more urgent. which are not always positive. in particular with consideration of the greenhouse burden. In particular the rebound effects of telework and teleconferencing due to generating additional air travel have to be reported on a sound basis to avoid misinterpreting their environmentally significance. while mitigating compensatory travel. moderate action. which is a steering parameter for the negative side effects of transport. speed reductions in physical transport will also stimulate the substitution process by telework and teleconferencing. Policy • Awareness of the necessities for a balanced view of the consequences of telework and teleconferencing instead of more euphoric approaches. while mitigating compensatory travel. At present a lot of data is available only on a national basis. a specifically British planning tool. ICT strengthens the options for well-considered. Hence the vast new options. Enhanced transport statistics for the European Union.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI 7. in particular of telework and teleconferencing. As a consequence. and all sections of travel (including air travel sections outside the national European territories). have to be counterbalanced with their consequences. Enforcement of modern ICT and subsidising transport. Cost expansion of transport will support the substitution process by telework and teleconferencing. In particular walks and bicycle rides as well as air travel sections outside the respective national territory are often neglected. ensuring the potential advantages of telework and teleconferencing. As far as national and European transport policies are bound to the distorted basis. Contrary to a “think slow. act fast” motto. Recommendations Recommendations are made for the policy arena. covering all means of transportation (including the non-motorised modes). and excluding or mitigating negative rebound effects. The integrated travel plan. The understanding of transport on a European level therefore is limited. Unlike ten years ago. and the latter represent remarkable shares of the distances travelled. Including telework into such plans will absorb negative effects to other instruments like joint commuting etc. • • • Business • Integrated travel plans including telework.

Using such tickets only two or three days per week. used. Additionally plans and standards for the organisation of labour. e.g.Digital Europe – case study on telework and sustainable development with GeSI • Integrated telework plans. on an individual basis. and in particular to changes in working places. exercising their special skills. combining an analysis of range and frequency of travel with an analysis of ICT. • Academia • Detailed analysis of the interrelations between changing the living and the working places with different kinds of telework. More interest should be given to the long-term reactions. to get significant results. For a deeper understanding of the correlation between business travel and teleconferencing. and in particular of the quantitative aspects. A careful observation and analysis of the structural changes is essential to avoid undesired results. including the workflow and the spatial and temporal distribution of labour are essential. based on probabilistic sampling with samples big enough. Adaptation of the systems of commuter tickets to the needs of teleworkers. tickets valid 10 days per month. Suburbanisation is obviously not primarily a result of ICT use. may be a matter of course. it seems appropriate to follow worked out procedures. To make general findings possible. using long-term panel surveys with sufficiently large and appropriately chosen panels. Some standard training of teleworkers. short-term reactions to the introduction of telework have been focused upon. easily cannibalises the benefits. From a transport perspective the prevalence of work in one place during each day is crucial when having transport saving in mind. Other ticket forms may meet the needs of teleworkers better. a sound basis seems necessary. discussing whether moves to more distant living places will take place. Also. If telework is introduced not only on a singular or sporadic basis. Detailed analysis of the interrelations between telework and teleconferencing on the one. to get significant results. responsibilities etc. a more comprehensive study will be essential. and the development of urban space and urbanisation patterns on the other hand. in particular telework and teleconferencing in combination with teleshopping may lead to significant further changes in urban distribution. Commuter tickets with special low fares are mostly aimed at the standard working situation with five days commuting per week. But ICT. particularly forms of teleconferencing. Until now. Detailed analysis of business travel. as individual cases may show any results. • • 56 . the social framework conditions should be clarified and brought into a stable order.

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.The authors are solely responsible for this publication and it does not represent the opinion of project partners and the European Community. Project partners and the Community are not responsible for any use that might be made of data appearing herein.

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