This dissertation examines the growing phenomenon of e-working, which is a way of working independent of location using information and communication technologies. This examination of e-working identifies the working method and assesses its current status in Ireland. This assessment establishes how e-work has developed and the views of the main interested parties on the subject.
The research methodology used was qualitative. Two research methods were used. Informal unstructured interviews were conducted to gain an understanding of the issues involved with e-working. Also, both published information and internet based information was analysed to establish the current status e-working in Ireland.
Through the research it was found that e-working has a strong position currently in Ireland with 4.4% of the workforce engaging in this work method and many more workers would consider working at least some of their working time from home if given the opportunity.
It was found that one in ten Irish currently use e-working and one in ten Irish companies currently use e-working and one quarter of those not currently using e-working have plans to explore this in the future. e-Working is present across many industries in Ireland being most prevalent in information intensive industries. e-Working offers substantial and wide ranging benefits to those engaged in e-working, to the organisations which adopted this working method, and to society in general. Constraints to the future growth of the work method were identified.
It was found that there is strong support for the future development of e-working especially from employers, who see it as a contributor to future competitiveness, and the government, seeing it as an essential facilitator towards development of the emerging Information Society.
It was concluded that the emergence of the Information Society will see e-working play a crucial role in maintaining Irish business’ competitiveness in a changing business environment. e-Working will not totally replace traditional forms of work but as a working method it has seen steady growth in the past and despite some constraints, there is nothing to suggest that this growth will not continue into the future.