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OPA Press Release: New Report Suggests Telework May Increase Work Productivity, Flexibility[01/10/2001]

The U. S. Department of Labor today released a comprehensive report on the use of telework -- using modern technology to work from somewhere other than your office. Telework: The New Workplace of the 21st Century compiles 12 studies by leading experts about telework and its future in the workplace.

"Our world is changing at warp speed. Using new technologies to work from somewhere other than the office could alter everything we think we know about workplaces," Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman said. "In order to shape those changes rather than just react to them, we must understand what telework offers to workers and employers."

The report suggests that telework holds vast potential to benefit workers, employers and the American economy. It could help employees balance the demands of work and family, promote diversity, increase worker productivity, and make employers more competitive. The studies in this report were presented at a national symposium of distinguished scholars and practitioners held at Xavier University in New Orleans on Oct. 16, 2000.

By some estimates, there are between 13 and 19 million full- or part-time teleworkers in the United States today. The 12 studies raise key questions about whether telework will help employers address the skills shortage, workers meet family obligations or society achieve greater workplace diversity.

The telework symposium and report are part of a national Labor Department initiative to address the need for high-tech workers. The report is available online at the Department of Labor's Web site at www.dol.gov/dol/asp/public/telework/main.htm.

U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 219-7773 or TTY (202) 501-3915.

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