Time was when you "went" to work. Nowadays, the theory goes, it's just as likely to come to you, wherever you happen to be, facilitated by remote and mobile networking, IP telephony, collaborative information sharing and other technological advances.

And about time, you might think, as illustrated by a recent report  - The shifting nature of work in the UK (http://img.en25.com/Web/CitrixOnline/WorkshiftingUK_4-3-11.1%20Final%20Rev.pdf).

Sponsored by Citrix Online, this Telework Research Network report shows that employers could save up to £3,000 per worker per year simply by allowing those willing and able to do so, to work from home for just 2 days a week. Moreover, if all the companies in the UK did that, it would take 2.5 million cars off the road, although the report authors conclude that outdated workplace laws and practices mitigate against such widespread adoption.

Interestingly, in earlier research from Vodafone, it seems that older workers are the most likely to take up offers of flexible teleworking, while younger, tech-savvy, workers  are it seems, more turned on by the social interaction of the workplace.

Perhaps because we're all living longer, settling down and having children later which, in turn, means that, rather than keeping up with the rat race, older workers are now more interested in coping with the school run.

So what does this apparent age-related split tell us? To my mind at least it tells us that it's important not to assume anything , and not to manage the use of communications technology too tightly. To look for solutions that can accommodate the needs and aspirations of all ages and remember that the young will, inevitably, get older and change their minds.

Alan Stevens


This article is written by Alan Stevens and sponsored by Avaya. The opinions reflected in this piece are solely those of Alan Stevens and may not reflect those of Avaya management