Many ways to work from home


Teleworkers, or "telecommuters" as they are also known, can work on their own or they can be employed as part of a larger workforce in a so-called "telecottage" set-up. Examples of this would include remote data-processing operations carried on in Ireland for international corporations.

Some teleworkers are self-employed, others work on contract and others (like the women above) are full-time employees.

Teleworking is by no means a women-only occupation. In European countries where the practice is well developed, both men and women have found that this style of working suits them best.

The frustration of commuting is an experience shared equally by both sexes - and with the cost of office space soaring, companies are looking at ways of containing overheads. One method is to facilitate those who want to work from home, thereby reducing the amount of office accommodation needed.

A large number of jobs in the information sector can be done from home, and a growing number of companies are examining how remote working could be integrated into their operations.

Riona Carroll is executive officer of the association of professional teleworkers, Telework Ireland, which is affiliated to the Small Firms Association. "In our experience teleworkers are very motivated people who often have specific reasons for wanting to work in this way," she says.

"Depending on the type of work they are doing it, may be possible to put in the hours at times which suit them, and they appreciate the flexibility this offers."

Imogen Bertin is a Cork-based contract publisher who works from home. She also operates the European Teleworking Helpline and she is willing to talk to those interested in the concept.

Contact Points

Riona Carroll, Telework Ireland (tel: (047) 72069)

Imogen Bertin, European Teleworking Helpline (tel: 1-800-225070)