Working anytime, anywhere: The effects on the world of work

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New information and communications technologies have revolutionised work and life in the 21st century. The constant connectivity enabled by these devices allows work to be performed at any time and from almost anywhere. This joint report by the ILO and Eurofound synthesises the findings of national studies from 15 countries, plus the European Working Conditions Survey, to consider the effects of telework and ICT-mobile work (T/ICTM) on the world of work. The report shows that this work arrangement is growing in most countries. Positive effects of T/ICTM usually include a shortening of commuting time, greater working time autonomy, better overall work–life balance, and higher productivity. At the same time, disadvantages include its tendency to lengthen working hours, to create interference between work and personal life, and to result in work intensification, which can lead to high levels of stress with negative consequences for workers’ health and well-being. The ambiguous and even contradictory effects of T/ICTM on working conditions represent a current, real-world example about the challenges of the future of work. A range of policy suggestions to improve T/ICTM are made on the basis of the findings. An executive summary is available - see Related content.

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