Monday, October 10, 2005

Teleworking and offshoring

It was reported in the Business News section of the Radio 4 Today programme last week that there are now nearly two and a half million teleworkers in the UK - this is about 8% of those in employment. The figures come from the Office for National Statistics and the Labour Force Survey. Yolanda Ruiz and Annette Walling have written in more detail about the figures in the latest edition of Labour Market Trends. You might also like to consult an earlier article, also published in Labour Market Trends, by Ulrike Hotopp of the Department of Trade and Industry.


The Labour Force Survey started collecting data on homeworking and teleworking back in 1997 and since then there have been some big increases. For many of them this is only possible because of improvements in ICT and in particular, broadband access to the Internet. Let's look at the numbers and check on the definitions.

Homeworkers are people who work mainly in their own home, or in various places but using their home as base. The number of homeworkers has gone up from about 2.4 million in 1997 to around 3.1 million in 2005. Most of these workers make use of a telephone and a computer in their work (2.4 million, up from less than a million in 1997). These people are described as teleworkers. Those who say that they could not work from home without both a telephone and a computer are labelled TC teleworkers. Their numbers have gone up from just over 700 thousnad in 1997 to nearly 2.1 million this year . Not surprisingly there are large differences between industries and occupations with the majority of teleworkers coming from the service sector and being described as having managerial, professional, associate professional and technical occupations. Two-thirds of teleworkers are men. This can be largely explained by the fact that most teleworkers are self-employed and most self-employed workers are men.

The earlier paper by Hotopp included international comparisons, noting that in 1999 the UK had just above the average proportion of teleworkers for the ten EU countries that have been recently surveyed; Finland had the highest proportion with over 16% of those in employment. There is evidence to show that there is an even higher proportion of workers engaged in teleworking in the US. Hotropp cites a 2001 study by the International Telework Association and Council (ITAC) which reported that there were around 28 million teleworkers in the US (about 21% of the labour force).Some more recent figures, available from The Telework Coalition (Telcoa) puts the number of homeworkers in the US at 44.4 million in 2004 (7.5% up from 2003). The number of teleworkers is reported to be 24.1 million (just over 18% of employed adult Americans).


Whatever the exact numbers right now they are sure to rise in the future as more people have access to broadband connections, laptops and Internet enable mobile phones and as the range of jobs that are compatible with teleworking expands. It is certainly an attractive option both for the workers themselves and for the companies that employ them. The Telcoa web page reports a study of senior executives which shows that allowing telecommuting and flexible working schedules is second only to salary as the biggest attraction for them in seeking new jobs. There is some evidence that teleworking can improve productivity too as people are better motivated and less inclined to take time off or leave the company. Business also benefits by cutting office space and other expenses. According to a study by AT&T in 2003 AT&T saves nearly $150,000,000 a year from teleworking.


In some cases companies have chosen to outsource some of these jobs, which can reduce costs even further. And if such jobs can be undertaken anywhere in the world with telephone and Internet connections jobs may be shifted offshore. A study by McKinsey in 2003 found that about 1.5 million service sector jobs had been moved from the US and other developed countries to countries in the developing world. The projected number for 2008 is 4.1 million. Jobs moved include call centres, help desks and customer services, data entry and billing, software writing and even financial analysis. But the risks may be exaggerated in the public mind. A survey of around 5000 firms in the US conducted by Ventoro in 2004 (reported in Jim Landers recent piece for CRM Buyer) found that 53% of firms felt that they would either lose money or save nothing by moving jobs offshore. Dell says that their strategy is "allshoring" not offshoring. As a global company they require bases in all their main geographical market areas, including Canada as well as the Phillippines.

Sources



  • Ulrike Hotopp. Teleworking in the UK. Labour Market Trends, Vol 110 No 6, June 2002, 311-318. Available online
  • Yolanda Ruiz and Annette Walling. Home-based working using communication technologies. Labour Market Trends, Vol 113 No 10, 417-426. Available online
  • Steve Quinn. Telecommuting: a win-win situation. CRM Buyer 10th July 2005. Available online
  • Jim Landers. Exodus of jobs overseas may be overstated. CRM Buyer 22nd September 2005. Available online

10 Comments:

At 3:27 PM, Blogger TWPAdmin said...

"I just came across your blog about sell on ebayand wanted to drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with the information you have posted here. I also have a web site & blog about **keyword** sell on ebay so I know I'm talking about when I say your site is top-notch! Keep up the great work, you are providing a great resource on the Internet here!

 
At 3:54 PM, Blogger JT said...

Great Blog! A real pleasure to read! Do you know that Traffic Portals will really boost your conversion rates and generate exclusively yours leads? We offer VOIP webinars - Marketing Courses Using Web Conferences about Traffic Portals I also have a website that talks about various high profile topics such as Retirement and includes an eBusiness Directory. I also would like to tell all of you reading this terrific blog about Retirement that should you be in need of a terrific host for a serious eCommerce Website that www.Kiosk.ws is Awesome Hosting value! They have the best online support team for all of your technical questions and a 3 minute emergency pager too. Looking to start your own affiliate program? They have an excellent script for you! They give you $70,000 dollars worth of software to build just about any type of e-commerce website you need! Go check it out if you get a chance. You can make more money than you spend and Create Free Will for Yourself! Again, Great Blog! Thanks. The info on Retirement Sooner was very informative!

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger startonline said...

great blog on identity theft fact I have abolg on the subject here identity theft fact

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Work From Home Center said...

Hi thanks for your blog, I liked it! I also have a blog/site about business opportunity in home based business
that covers business opportunity in home based business
related stuff. Please feel free to visit.

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger My VoIp Solutions said...

Hi Thanks for your interesting blog. I also have a blog/site, covering protocol voip related stuff. Feel free to visit my protocol voip site.

 
At 5:45 AM, Blogger adminsupervisor said...

Why can't more sites be as good as yours!!! You see I am changing my life at the moment and I have decided to start a www.createmoneyathome.com site. I am trying to get inspiration so I can become easier to talk to. You site has given me some ideas. I talk to a wide range of people and I need to relate to everyone I come across so thanks for your posts! The title 'Teleworking and offshoring' caught my eye so I thought I'd post on this one. Cheers.

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger reni said...

I was searching around for info on how to start a home based business. I found your blog Guy.

I was reading your post and believe it or not it’s helped me. Every tip I get helps, even if its just new phrases I have never used before, its helps me be a better mentor. This is my business link - work home job opportunity uk - check it out and see what you think.

Anyways Guy, you have a good site. I'll be back.

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger Loan Master Site.com said...

There is a difference between blog sites and good blog sites. This is a good one! I have a prepaid internet access, website. If you need prepaid internet access, then please check it out!

 
At 4:38 AM, Blogger karl said...

Hi, Guy, I was surfing and searching for some info on telemarketing services and noticed your site. Your this post Teleworking and offshoring though sounded interesting so I took a look. It was not relevant to my telemarketing services but I am glad to stop by and view your interesting comments. Keep up the fantastic blogging.

 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger Legal and Finance Consulting said...

Hi, I am Guy, and like to contact you!

By my SEARCHING out FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION about home based business opportunity I have found your site.
Of course, I was looking out for home based business opportunity related information and I have found your Teleworking and offshoring. Sorry, I have seen that isn't a perfect match. But, anyway, I am glad I have stopped by even though this isn’t a perfect match. What you have in your content is very interesting for most people.
I like to set up a link to you. What you think about?
It does will be a pleasure, if you contact me. Perhaps we have some same ideas. Wish you success with your site.

Fritz

 

Post a Comment

<< Home