National Academies Press: OpenBook

Office Workstations in the Home (1985)

Chapter:Front Matter

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1985. Office Workstations in the Home. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1985. Office Workstations in the Home. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1985. Office Workstations in the Home. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1985. Office Workstations in the Home. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1985. Office Workstations in the Home. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1985. Office Workstations in the Home. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1985. Office Workstations in the Home. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/168.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1985. Office Workstations in the Home. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/168.
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Office Workstations in the Home Boars! on Telecommunications and Computer Applications Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1985

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 CONSTITUTION AVE., N.W. WASHINGTON, D.C. 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competence and with regard for appropriate balance. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Acad- emy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy un- der the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, which established the Academy as a private, nonprofit, self-governing membership corporation. The Council has be- come the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineer- ing and the Institute of Medicine were established in 1964 and 1970, respectively, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Main entry under title: Office workstations in the home. Includes index. 1. Telecommuting—Congresses. 2. Organizational change—Congresses. 3. Industrial relations—Congresses. 4. Telecommuting—United States—Case studies. I. National Research Council (U.S.) Board on Telecommunications and Computer Applications. HD2333.037 1985 331.25 85-3022 ISBN 0-309-03483-3 Copyright (D 1985 by the National Academy of Sciences. No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise copied for public or private use, without written permission from the publisher, except for the purposes of official use by the United States government. Printed in the United States of America

Preface en c! Acknowledgments Electronic homework the use of computers either full or part time in the home to do work normally done in the office is a new development made possible by technological developments that have made small computers more powerful and economical. To some analysts, electronic homework, or telecommuting, repre- sents freedom from the drawbacks of the traditional workplace, results in economies due to reduced commuting, and perhaps, most important of all, an increased sense of worker autonomy and job satisfaction. To other analysts, electronic homework is a modern and simply more sophisticated version of the sweatshops associated with cot- tage industries of the past. These analysts caution that while elec- tronic workstations in the home may mean increased productiv- ity and autonomy for certain groups of workers, primarily managers and professionals, for great numbers of the work force, particularly lower-paid clerical workers who lack the negotiating power of professionals, electronic homework is ad too likely to develop into an involuntary arrangement based on piece rates and carrying no fringe benefits. The evidence gathered to date from existing and pilot homework programs involves relatively small numbers of workers who volunteered for their assignments, a fact underscored by labor union representatives. Because the existing data base is small, the outlook for future · - ~

IV PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS growth of electronic homework is problematical. It has been sug- gested that tociay's approximately 15,000 home workstations will grow to as many as 10 million by 1990; others forecast a more modest increase. The full range of issues involved in electronic homework labor, legal, organizational, social, and psychological was the subject of a national executive forum entitled Office Workstations in the Home, held at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., November 9 and 10, 1983. The forum, sponsored by the Board on Telecommunications and Computer Applications of the National Research Council, brought together the nation's experts responsible for the groundbreaking research on the subject. This volume, which is based on papers from the forum, presents for the first time in one source current knowledge on the issue. T wish to thank the members of the planning pane} (see page viii) for their fine work in developing and shaping this important fo- rum, and our speakers, who enlightened us on the many aspects, positive and negative, of this phenomenon. Jerome D. Rosenberg, forum director and senior staff officer of the Board on Telecom- munications and Computer Applications, and Lois A. leak, ad- ministrative secretary, also deserve special thanks, as does Diane Maple, who edited the transcript of the meeting. ~ also wish to extend warm thanks to our government and busi- ness sponsors, who made the forum possible: Apple Computer, Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Margrethe H. Olson Chairman

Contents Planning Pane] . Introduction . Margrethe H. Olson I CASE STUDIES Overview Don Miller American Express Company: Project Homebound. James G. Raney, Jr. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina: Program for Clerical Workers ........ Greg Geisler U.S. Army: Prototype Program for Professional Mary McDavid Mountain Bell: Program for Managers Nelson Phelps v · · ~ . V111 5 ... 8 16 24 33

V1 CONTENTS Control Data Corporation: Alternate Work !~it." Prnor~m~ as. ~.v~ ma. - . ~ 38 Ronald A. Manning F International: Twenty Years' Experience in Homeworking 51 V. S. Shirley II ISSUES AND PROBLEMS Legalities 59 Donald Elishurg Effects of Work Location on Motivation ArthurP. Brief Use and Misuse of Workstations at Home Dennis Chamot and John L. Zalusky ............ 66 .......... 76 Discussion: Labor Issues 85 Discussion: Lessons Learned III THE FUTURE 95 Technology Forecast 105 Frederic G. Withington Clerical Workers and New Office Technologies . . . . . . . 112 Judith Gregory The Potential of Remote Work for Professionals Margrethe H. Olson ..... 125 Commentary 133 Jack M. Nilles

CONTENTS ·. V11 Appendix A: Control Data AWS Employee Survey Appendix B: Control Data AWS Manager Interview Protocol Appendix C: index . . 145 AFL-CIO Resolution on Computer Homework. . 49 152 .155

Planning Pane} Office Workstations in the Home MARGRETHE H. OLSON (chairman), New York University TED CLIMIS, IBM Corporation DONATED ELISBURG, Connerton, Bernstein & Katz it. A. FULGHAM, Hewiett-Packar~ Company GLENN p. HANEY, u.s. Department of Agriculture NELSON PHELPS, Mountain Bell FRANK SCHIFF, Committee for Economic Development YOLANDA A. WILLIS, Westinghouse Education Center JOHN ZALUSKY, AFL-CIO · -— V111

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Telecommuting—people working at home with computers connected to offices many miles away—could reshape the way America works. What are the effects of this phenomenon on workers, managers, and labor unions? What is the technology behind this arrangement? What are the legal implications surrounding telecommuting? In this volume, these issues are addressed by experts in computer applications and information systems, business and industry, training and operations, corporate forecasting and analysis, law, organizational behavior, and labor. Case studies of several actual telecommuting systems are presented.

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