Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Ratio Working Papers,
The Ratio Institute

No 221: Flexibelt arbetsliv – hinder och möjligheter med distansarbete

Torbjörn Lundqvist ()
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Torbjörn Lundqvist: The Ratio Institute, Postal: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This working paper discusses different aspects of telework (i.e. arrangements that allow employees to work from alternative out-of office locations) based on a survey of international research and recent data from Statistics Sweden. Visions of a future where a large proportion of the workforce work at a distance from their regular office have been around since the 1970s. However, telework has not become nearly as prevalent as many believed and hoped it would. The number of teleworkers seems relatively stable in Sweden and research in this area shows that there are considerable barriers to overcome before telework can develop into a more common phenomenon in the current labour market. In this paper we discuss both barriers and opportunities for telework. It seems likely that the majority of jobs will never be performed at a distance from the ordinary workplace. However, progress in IT has led to new visions of a working life where people work anytime from anywhere. Work is becoming increasingly mobile and we will probably see an evolutionary trend towards greater flexibility, including telework and virtual organizations, as a long-term effect of the IT revolution.

Keywords: telework; home-based work; mobile work; flexible work

JEL-codes: J53; M14; M54

24 pages, October 2, 2013

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