The Impacts of Telework on Quality of Life: A Revised Model for Research
Teleworking appears as one major area where new technology has a potential to change the way people are ‘doing things’ (in this case working) and thereby bring about a better life for the individual. This potential has raised interest in using telework among European decision-makers, employers and employees. The Quality of Life (QoL) issue has in particular been put on many employers’ agenda, as the individual employees’ well-being seems to be decisive for their professional contributions. In a knowledge-based economy, the knowledge and creativity of employees are companies’ main capital. Thus, these companies are especially vulnerable to human malfunctioning. Knowledge workers, who feel miserable due to personal problems or poor living conditions, are not able to cope with their jobs (even if they could have managed doing simple routine tasks or hard physical labour tasks under the same circumstances). Increased QoL will have a great impact on productivity in knowledge-based activities, while a corresponding reduction may lead to dramatically negative effects. This motivates employers to take more responsibility for the individual employee’s QoL. A telework arrangement is in this connection regarded as one of several possible ways to increase workers’ (and families) QoL, and the arrangement also appear to be used as an attractor for recruiting and retaining workers with key skills.
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