Digitalisation and the advent of more flexible work organisation are changing working time patterns. Working time for workers who do telework and ICT-based mobile work (TICTM) is more porous, irregular and unpredictable.
TICTM can have clear benefits for people’s work–life balance, enabling them to adapt their working time to their private and family-related needs. However, these types of work arrangement can also lead to an intensification of work, even where workers have high levels of autonomy – a situation known as the autonomy paradox.
Virtual presenteeism is an increasing phenomenon in the digitalised work context and specifically among TICTM workers. While it might benefit workers by enabling them to carry out tasks while sick, it can also jeopardise their health and reduce performance.
Contrary to common perception, not all workers with a TICTM arrangement are high-flyers with better-than-average working conditions. Around one in four are in jobs with precarious conditions, including lack of access to training, low wages and job insecurity.
Advances in ICT have opened the door to new ways of organising work. We are shifting from a regular, bureaucratic and ‘factory-based’ working time pattern towards a more flexible model of work. Telework and ICT-based mobile work (TICTM) has emerged in this transition, giving workers and employers the ability to adapt the time and location of work to their needs. Despite the flexibility and higher level of worker autonomy inherent in TICTM, there are risks that this work arrangement leads to the deterioration of work–life balance, higher stress levels and failing worker health. This report analyses the employment and working conditions of workers with TICTM arrangements, focusing on how it affects their work–life balance, health, performance and job prospects. While policymakers in many EU countries are debating TICTM and its implications, the study finds that only a few have implemented new regulations to prevent TICTM from having a negative impact on the well-being of workers.
Telework and ICT-based mobile work (TICTM) is any type of work arrangement where workers work remotely, away from an employer’s premises or fixed location, using digital technologies such as networks, laptops, mobile phones and the internet. It offers workers unprecedented flexibility in where they work and when they work. TICTM has emerged in the context of developments in the world of work and the economy, including digitalisation, flexibilisation of the labour market, increasing labour market participation of women and global competition. This report analyses the employment and working conditions of workers with TICTM arrangements.
This series reports on the new forms of employment emerging across Europe that are driven by societal, economic and technological developments and are different from traditional standard or non-standard employment in a number of ways. This series explores what characterises these new employment forms and what implications they have for working conditions and the labour market.
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