There are three fundamental pillars for a remote work strategy:

Pillar One is focused on creating a conducive environment for the adoption of remote work. As remote working is a new way of working, it will need new and different measures in place to support it into the future. Changes to how and where people work will have impacts on a number of different areas such as the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees, health and safety legislation and tax arrangements. The actions in this pillar are centred on supporting employers and employees.

  1. Legislate to provide employees the right to request remote work.
  2. Introduce a code of practice on the right to disconnect.
  3. Provide employers and employees with ongoing up-to-date guidance on remote work.
  4. Taking account of the economic, financial and organisational implications arising from the experience of remote working during the pandemic,  review the current tax arrangements for remote working in respect of (i) employees and (ii) employers, and assess the merits of further enhancements.

Pillar Two highlights the importance of the development and leveraging of remote work infrastructure to facilitate increased remote work adoption. Adequate infrastructure must be in place to allow employers and employees to avail of remote working opportunities both at home and in hubs. The actions in this pillar are focused on development and investment in the national hub infrastructure and the national delivery of broadband, both of which will be significant drivers in facilitating people to work remotely.

  1. Make a significant investment in remote work hubs and infrastructure in underserved areas to underpin the development of the national hubs network.
  2. Extend the mapping and classifications of hubs across the country to develop national data on hub infrastructure.
  3. Map commuter, skills and childcare facilities data to inform future hub development decisions. In addition, identify a set of appropriate economic metrics to track the impact of remote work (including both hubs and homes).
  4. Investigate how existing hub classifications can be used to inform future funding decisions. This should consider how hub infrastructure aligns with the transition to the low carbon economy.
  5. Explore how the national broadband plan can be accelerated; delivering connectivity as soon as is feasible across rural areas as a central part of remote work infrastructure.

Pillar Three is centred on maximising the benefits of remote work to achieve public policy goals. To achieve this policymakers need to be aligned by a shared vision and supported by access to the most relevant data to inform evidence-based policy. The actions in this pillar will ensure that data and collaborative practices are used to best effect to achieve the country’s multiple policy goals.

  1. Develop national data on the incidence and frequency of remote work, as part of a wider effort to improve data on flexible working arrangements, to provide an evidence base for future policy.
  2. Establish a centralised cross-departmental knowledge base on the costs and benefits associated with the increased adoption of remote working to understand impacts on areas such as, employment, transport, carbon emissions, broadband, and equality.
  3. Convene meetings every four months to ensure that there is cross-departmental alignment to support the wider goals of the country.

Underpinning Conditions:

Promotion and Skills

  1. Mandate public sector employers, colleges, and other public bodies to move to 20 percent home and remote working in 2021.
  2. Raise awareness of existing remote work hub infrastructure
  3. Promote remote work amongst businesses. This includes raising awareness of remote work training and advising on the skills interventions required for the successful adoption of remote work. Businesses should also be advised on best practice in relation to ensuring equal opportunity amongst remote and office-based workers.

Useful Definitions

E-Work: E-Work is a method of working using information and communication technology in which the work is not bound to any particular location. Traditionally this has been understood as working remotely away from the office, usually from home, either full-time or for a period during the working week.

Mobile Work: Mobile work refers to work patterns characterized by the worker (whether employee or self-employed) operating from various possible locations outside the premises of their employer (for example, at home, at a client’s premises or ‘on the road’), supported by modern technologies such as laptop and table computers. This is different from traditional teleworking in the sense of being even less ‘place-bound’.

Smart/Intelligent Working: Smart/intelligent working is a set of practices that add greater flexibility to work methods through innovative solutions. Flexibility on areas such as location, schedule, hours worked as well as shared responsibility are some of the markers of this style of working.

Telecommuting: Telecommuting refers to substituting telecommunications for commuter travel.

Flexible Working: Flexible working describes a type of working arrangement which gives a degree of flexibility on how long, where, when and at what times employees work.

Hubwork: An arrangement where an employee works from a hub close to or within their local community, either exclusively or some of the time.

Locationless Work: Locationless work refers to jobs without a fixed location. Jobs are advertised without a location and workers can leave and work in a location of their choosing.

Co-Working: A co-working space is a shared office space where collaboration and networking outside of one’s team or organization are encouraged.

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