Last Friday, September 20, Finland celebrated its third annual Teleworking Day, or Home Office Day as it was this year called. There were almost 24 000 individuals and over 700 companies who had officially announced their participation in the campaign on it’s official web site. Microsoft Finland and The Finnish Environment Institute were the main organizers of the campaign with several other corporations and public sector organizations.
Teleworking is a tempting option in Finland especially in summer and early fall, when the Finns spend anyway a lot of time outdoors and for example in their summer cottages. In a news article from this summer by the national broadcasting company Yle, there is an estimated 15 percent of employees in Finland who work outside the office. According to a teleworking barometer conducted by the Finnish Teleworking Day campaign this year, teleworking was done in 85 percent of the respondent organizations. Indications show that more employees would opt for teleworking arrangements, but a lack of information about the possibilities and preconceived attitudes about what remote working entails often prevent many from even trying this working style. Also leadership skills in leading teleworkers seem to be lacking.
Furthermore, the fact that work life and leisure time boundaries are blurring even without teleworking, some employees may find it better to keep work away from their homes. As noted in this news article, people who are already struggling with balancing job and personal responsibilities may find that teleworking exacerbates these feelings. However, remote working is possible also elsewhere than from home. In October we will start to collect survey data in our project from several remote work locations, such as from Helsinki city libraries and from Café Köket in Helsinki. We are interested in how typical it is to work from such urban public and semi-public spaces, and what are the benefits and challenges of working in these places for individuals. We will also examine, whether people feel themselves lonely while working outside the office or whether people find a needed teleworking community from the teleworking site or online. If you are working this fall in Helsinki city center, please visit for example in Library 10 near the railway station, Meeting Point at Lasipalatsi, or Cafe Köket in Aleksanterinkatu and respond to our survey!