The expanding use of digital technology in the form of smartphones, tablets and laptops is rapidly transforming the traditional model of work, according to a new report jointly published by Eurofound and the ILO.
The report Working anytime, anywhere: The effects on the world of work synthesises research carried out by both organisations in 15 countries, both inside and outside the EU. The study identifies employees who use new technology to work outside the employer’s premises – regular home-based teleworkers as well as workers performing occasional and extensive telework and ICT-mobile work. The report highlights a number of positive effects of this type of work: greater working time autonomy leading to more flexibility in terms of working time organisation, and reduced commuting time resulting in a better overall work–life balance and greater productivity.
However, the report also identifies several attendant disadvantages, such as a tendency on the part of workers to work longer hours, and a blurring of the boundaries between paid work and personal life, which can lead to high levels of stress.