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The expanding use of digital technologies such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers for work at home and elsewhere is rapidly transforming the traditional model of work.

A new joint ILO-Eurofound report Working anytime, anywhere: The effects on the world of work   synthesizes research carried out in 15 countries

The report notes the  greater working time autonomy leading to more flexibility in terms of working time organization, and reduced commuting time resulting in a better overall work-life balance and higher productivity.

“This report shows that the use of modern communication technologies facilitates a better overall work-life balance but, at the same time, also blurs the boundaries between work and personal life, depending on the place of work and the characteristics of different occupations,” said the ILO’s Jon Messenger.

The report calls for promotion of  formal part-time teleworking to help teleworkers maintain ties with their co-workers and improve worker well-being, while restricting informal and supplemental T/ICTM work involving long working hours.

“It is particularly important to address the issue of supplemental work performed through modern communications technology, for example additional working from home, which could be viewed as unpaid overtime, and also to ensure that minimum rest periods are respected, in order to avoid negative effects on workers’ health and well-being,” said Oscar Vargas from Eurofound.

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