LONDON, Feb 17: Using smartphones, laptops and other technology to work from home may help you do away with rush hour traffic, but also lead to longer working hours, higher stress and sleeping problems, according to a new UN study in 15 countries including India.
“This report shows that the use of modern communication technologies facilitates a better overall work-life balance,” said Jon Messenger, co-author of the joint report by the UN International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Eurofund. The study is based on interviews with workers and experts in 10 European Union member states, Argentina, Brazil, India, Japan and the US.
The study identified seve ral types of employees using new technologies to work outside the employer’s premises, including regular home-based teleworkers, workers performing occasional telework and information and communication technologies mobile work (TICTM). It highlights positive effects of teleworking, such as greater autonomy on working time and better work-day organisation, and reduced commuting time resulting in a better overall work-life balance and higher productivity .
On the down side, telewor king “blurs the boundaries between work and personal life, depending on the place of work and the characteristics of different occupations,” Messenger said.
People teleworking tend to work longer hours, and have higher levels of stress as a result of overlapping paid work and personal life.
The analysis also shows that regular home-based teleworkers tend to be more likely to report sleeping problems in general, when compared to those always work at the employer’s premises,.