Two Surrey-based researchers this week predicted that the rise of teleworking in the county will lead to less traffic congestion, better job prospects for women and the disabled and a revival of the village community.
Speaking at an international conference on teleworking in Berlin, Eileen Grimshaw of Guildford College and Mazin Mahmoud of Surrey University said that there is evidence to show that teleworking leads to improved productivity by home workers and lower office overheads.
There would be a reduction in demand for new roads because of people working from home and this would result in fewer pollution-related illnesses including asthma and cancer.
Ms Grimshaw said that Cornhill Insurance, which relocated to Surrey from London, already has 40 per cent of its staff teleworking from home. Benefits to the firm include increased production, flexible working and emphasis on annual rather than weekly hours worked. But she also identified drawbacks for companies, including managers having to overcome the lack of face-to-face contact and homeworkers being less able to feel part of the company.