Teleworking: Ethical Issues of Flexible Working

Chris Moon and Celia Stanworth


This paper discusses the development of flexible working practices in the United Kingdom (UK) and focuses on implications for teleworking in particular. The main premise of the paper is that if the distribution of electronic work is achieved on short-term, cost-benefit, principles only (teleological) then this poses threats to the labour process in the longer term i.e. that skills will be eroded and there will be little incentive for employers and employees to acquire more than specific task related skills. To avoid this paradox of Information Technology (IT), the humane use of IT will need to become a priority for the management of work (deontological perspective) i.e. the duties of employers and the rights of employees must be considered more fully. This paper discusses the human resource implications of telework in the UK and refers to developments in Continental Europe and the USA.