Essay on Information and Communications Technology: Teleworking

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Information and Communications Technology - the case of teleworking. =================================================================== Developments in information and communications technologies are having profound effects on employment in rural areas and also possibly on the competitive advantage of rural areas. This latter point will depend on the extent to which rural areas are able to 'capture a higher share of information and knowledge related work than has been the case in the past.' (Bryden, 1997). Bryden sees 'information' as a cash commodity, which is able to empower and to improve democracy, with great potential for development of rural areas which have hitherto seen less of the expansion in teleworking than have…show more content…
Smith (1998) describes an 'increasingly targeted approach' to the development of ICT in the Western Isles, which has enabled many new job opportunities, particularly in the area of tele-working. Smith also highlights the importance of ICT opportunities as helping to retain some of the young people in remote areas by providing skilled work, and also perhaps in encouraging young people who have left to return to the Western Isles. A teleworker is normally someone who is self-employed and possesses specific skills which are utilised by distant businesses on a contract basis. Teleworking can be done both at home or from a remote office, and offers new types of employment opportunities for remotely based rural populations - such as those in the Western Isles. Although the disadvantages of teleworking are often discussed - in the lack of a social environment in which to work, the lack of employee rights, benefits and promotion prospects; in remote areas with high unemployment and under-employment, it offers very real opportunities. Furthermore, the advantages of teleworking are significant: flexible working hours, ability to work from home, new opportunities to use skills and qualifications, and competitive incomes. Smith (1998) also points out that "home based teleworkers have been found to be more productive than their contemporaries in centrally located office environments, and more loyal
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