The UK government is not doing enough to encourage people to work from home, according to the UK Telework Platform.
Made up of several teleworking promoters, including the Environmental Transport Association, the teleworking organisation launched an exhibition in the House of Commons last week in a bid to raise MPs' interest in the economic, social and environmental benefits of working from home.
A representative of the Telework, Telecottage and Telecentre Association (TCA) and the exhibition's coordinator, said since teleworking benefits individuals, companies and the environment, more should be done to promote the practice.
He stated: 'Issues like whether business rates apply to a teleworker are still very unclear. And expenses like light and heat, which are often paid by the home worker's employer, should not be part of an individual's taxable income.'
According to the representative, teleworking can increase productivity by anything from 15 to 60 per cent, as well as opening the job market to carers, lone parents or people with physical disabilities. Environmental and social advantages also occur from reduced pollution and travel.
Anne Campbell, parliamentary private secretary to the minister for science, energy and industry, has been lobbying with other MPs for the promotion of teleworking.
'The whole area needs to be looked at. While it won't cure our road congestion problems, I'm hopeful it will be taken up by the deputy prime minister John Prescott as a part of transport strategy,' she said.
She added: 'The government should facilitate a teleworking infrastructure by putting anti-competitive regulations in place.
'Everybody should have access to a wide bandwidth network.' Campbell also hopes the welfare to work programme will help disabled people back to work.
'The technology exists already,' she argued. 'So hopefully, teleworking will be more common and bring disabled people back to the workforce.'
The exhibition is situated near the House of Commons committee rooms, and displays a range of teleworking equipment and communication tools, including ISDN lines, videoconferencing, email and mobile computers.
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