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Status Report on
Telework98.doc, August 1998
The year 1998 marks a turning point in the development of new working practices in Europe. Although definitions are very difficult in this rapidly changing field, current best estimates indicate that about 4 million Europeans1, about 2½% of the workforce, are teleworking in one form or other. This is twice as many as 2 years ago. In addition, what we termed “telework” a couple of years ago is now considered a “normal” way of working. Telework is rapidly developing into a mainstream work practice.
The changing employment situation in Europe is driving people and organisations towards new ways of working and of organising work, and technology itself is arguably the major enabling factor. The increase in telework is a consequence of the rapid development of key technologies, such as mobile telephony (mainly GSM, currently with 85 million subscribers globally), the Internet, and the increasing use of intranets within business organisations and extranets. The technologies underpinning call centre development, for instance, have already resulted in new employment for about 400,000 Europeans.
1998 is also a turning point in terms of European support. Telework development not only benefits from support from European Research Funds, but also increasingly on contributions from the Structural Funds2. In 1998, for the first time the volume of financial support to telework deployment in European Structural Funds exceeds that for telework development from the Research Programme: another sign of maturity for telework. In RTD itself, the shift from the Fourth to the Fifth Framework Programme, and particularly to the Information Society Thematic Programme, is well on track for decision and implementation by the end of 1998. It is expected that the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament will agree to approximately 500 MECU of support for the Key Action on New Methods of Working and Electronic Commerce. This will give a significant financial boost to the development of more flexible working practices, as well as to the quality of working life for all working people. It represents a major effort to put Europe at the forefront of the next generation of technology development and support for new working practices and employment opportunities.
This publication includes updated information on the latest developments and initiatives, both those undertaken by Research Programmes and those supported by Structural Funds and the Trans European Network Framework. These activities, supported at European level, accompany a wide spectrum of policy debates, centred on the opportunities for new employment. These debates have been stimulated by the European Commission, and animated at the annual European Assemblies on “New Ways to Work”3, as well as during European Telework Week4. The views expressed are those of the numerous contributing authors, not necessarily of the Commission itself.
The continuous participation of all parties concerned in the “telework” debate is essential in an area that will affect the future working life of millions of Europeans. Your participation is vital.
Peter Johnston Maarten Botterman
The preparation of this document has involved a large number of people, both within the European Commission, and in other organisations.
Special thanks are due to the following members of the ETD team:
Jeremy Millard (Tele Danmark Consult)
Horace Mitchell (Management Technology Associates)
Ursula Huws (Analytica)
for their major contributions to the report.
Thanks for important contributions are also due to:
Christian van Asbroeck (Belgium Teleworking Association), Imogen Bertin (Cork Teleworking Centre), Fritz Betz (Zentrum fur Sozialer Innovation), Andrew Bibby, Marc Bonazountas (Epsilon), Anna Borglin, Kitty de Bruin (Netherlands Telework Platform), Riona Carroll (Telework Ireland), Rui Cartaxo (Associação Portuguesa para o Desenvolvimento do Teletrabalho), Ian Culpin (Martech International), Alan Denbigh (The Telecottage Association), Peter Rahbek Elbrønd (Tele Danmark Consult), Thomas Frovin Jensen, Yassin Gulamhussen (Telecorreio), Josef Hochgerner (Zentrum für sociale Innovation), Lilian Holloway (Swedish Telecottage Association), Chris Hudson (Communication Workers Union), Michel Ickx (Ecomail), Eberhardt Köhler (European Foundation for Living and Working Conditions), Katalin Kolosy (AEIDL), Tuula Lind (Regionet Oy), Joan Majó (Information Society Forum), Patrizio di Nicola (Micromatica), Jack Nilles, Rainer Pollman (TeleArbeit), Victor de Pous, Javier Poves (Ciberteca), Klaus Rapf (Forshungsgesellschaft für Informatik), Miguel Reynolds Brandao (TELEMANutencao), Renato Rizzo (MIRTI), Ian Simmins (Carlyle Information Services), David Skyrme (David Skyrme Associates), Lars Tollet (Taitoverkko), Nicole Turbe-Suetens (Distance Expert),
As well as to the following members of staff of the European Commission:
Michael Arentoft, Bart Arroyo, Antonio Conte, Christiane Dhyne, David Ellard, Antoinette François, Manuela Geleng, Michael Griffith, Rene Guth, Pentii Lahtinen, John Nolan, Carlos Oliveira, Vibeke Sylvest, Paul Timmers
Table of contents
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