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One in seven employees working from home
The number of Belgian employees working from home has risen by 25% in three years, writes Le Soir. A study by the Directorate-General for Statistics and Economic Information reveals that, while 416,717 employees (11.4%) teleworked in 2008, the figure rose to 523,723 (14.1%) in 2011. The figures include not only those who have a specific teleworking contract, but also any employee who has worked from home in any capacity. However, the rise, while significant, is not spectacular. Bernard Fusulier, professor of sociology at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve (UCL), suggests that an even sharper increase might actually have been expected, given the technological advances allowing people to work from home as well as the pressure put on employees by their bosses, inciting them to take work home. The academic says that teleworking is a double-edged sword. “On the one hand, it allows for better time management, but on the other hand it renders the boundaries between private life and professional life so permeable that the employee’s private sphere becomes colonised by his or her job,” he says.