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Though it is still common to envision a corporate office building or factory as the place where we “go to work,” every day a large proportion of the labor force works “off-site” in another kind of environment - perhaps a room in their home, an airport lounge, or a customer’s office. These off-site workers are a major and apparently growing component of the workforce.

The vast majority of the workforce in mid-size and large companies work on a regular basis with people they cannot see. Taking together those who are off-site workers and those who work at least weekly with colleagues at a different site, the study finds that working over a distance affects more than 80% and is a nearly universal experience for workers today.

Contrary to the common expectation that off-site workers must have access to a wide array of technology, most off-site workers have the staple range of technology: computer, printer, fax, copier, and multiple phone lines. The technology provided is not always appropriate to the needs of a specific arrangement, and one-third to one-half rate their technical support as “only fair” or “poor.”

- When equipment is provided, companies assume financial responsibility for purchasing and maintaining it for off-site workers, as they do for on-site workers.

- Mobile workers and customer site workers are least likely to have what they consider the necessary degree of access to company data and files.

- "When The Workplace Is Many Places: The Extent and Nature of Off-Site Work Today," Executive Summary, Amy Richman, Karen Noble, and Arlene Johnson, A Study Commissioned by The American Business Collaboration for Quality Dependent Care (ABC) http://www.abcdependentcare.com/docs/index.htm, Written by WFD Consulting, Inc. http://www.wfd.com, ISBN: 0-9724090-0-9, 2001 - 2002.

File URL here (PDF) http://www.abcdependentcare.com/docs/ABC_Executive_Summary_final.pdf

Post Date: March 26, 2005 at 9:20 AM CST; 1520 GMT