Not so bad if you leave the office before five o'clock?

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Not so bad if you leave the office before five o'clock?

Judge your staff not on the hours they do but on the work they deliver, say Intel and Dell.

If you've ever had that feeling of guilt as you sneak out of work at 4:30pm, you might be interested to know that it's the way of the future, at least according to some.

Tech giants Intel and Dell have put their weight behind flexible work hours for staff, arguing there are signs the 9 to 5 work day will eventually give way to an approach to work where staff are judged on the work they deliver, not the hours they keep.

Not only is the definition of an employee is "on the cusp of a transformation" as a new Intel whitepaper puts it, but where we work, and who we work with is going change dramatically.

"We really have this idea of nine to five and if you leave the office before five then you're obviously not working hard enough," said Intel's Steve Brown.

By contrast, he said some workers would prefer to "arrive at work at ten and leave at four, and start work again at eight…that's fine."

"Managers are going to have to get over this, if we want to attract and maintain the best talent, we're going to have to go into that discomfort zone…and hire and fire based on results."

Of course, the realities of teleworking are different in global companies like Intel and Dell. Brown acknowledges a shift to flexible working hours and teleworking won't happen in a rush, but argues that it is something people will "get more comfortable with over time."

"As people get to do it and still deliver results they will get more rope to be able to work in that model," he said.

As two of the many companies that provide technology that helps people work from home, Intel and Dell have a vested interest in teleworking becoming more commonplace.

They also pointed to other technologies like LiquidSpace,, Airtasker and as tools businesses can use to tap into the work-from-home workforce.

Dell also pointed to efforts to create regional teleworking centres, so some workers can avoid driving into metropolitan areas.

Working mothers are another group that could benefit from flexible work arrangements that allows them to work from home at least part of the week.

If you have a larger business, here is a teleworking manual from the New South Wales Government.


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