Being able to work away from the office is resulting in longer working hours, a study has shown.
The Getting a Grip on IT study was a joint venture between the New South Wales State Chamber of Commerce and IT services company Unisys.
The study showed that almost a quarter of businesses surveyed allowed staff to regularly work off site. Almost half of those employees who did however, were working in addition to their normal hours.
Melanie Laing, human resources director at Unisys Asia Pacific said in a statement: "While telecommuting adds flexibility for both the employer and employee, it remains important for employees to achieve a work/life balance, and for them to maintain a healthy level of interpersonal contact with fellow workers."
In addition, only half of the businesses surveyed with a telecommuting workforce actively enforced formal OH&S standards. Less than two-thirds of respondents were aware that this was a statutory requirement.
State Chamber of Commerce CEO Margy Osmond added, “IT is increasingly blurring the distinction between work and home life. As more and more employees telecommute, businesses must ensure they actively enforce appropriate OH&S and industrial relations standards whether their employees are inside or outside of the usual work environment.”
"It is the responsibility of all parties -- government, business and the IT sector -- to work together to ensure appropriate OH&S standards are met for employees who telecommute," Laing said.
The Getting a Grip on IT study aimed to examine the potential benefits of IT for NSW businesses and also highlight potential barriers to implementation.