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Profile: the Telework Association


One of the key organisations promoting telework in the UK is the TCA - the Telework Association.

The TCA started life as part of the rural development organisation, ACRE, but with an increasing interest in the broader appeal and impact of teleworking, the Association became a separate entity in 1993.

Now it is Europe's largest organisation dedicated to the promotion of teleworking. Over 2,000 people and organisations have joined since it started.

"Our mission is to encourage the take up of teleworking - with its huge range of benefits for both employer and employee", says Executive Director Alan Denbigh. "The approach has been to focus on the business benefits of telework and then selling these to organisations.

"At the same time we have talked about the work/life balance issues and these have also come to the fore more recently to complement this message. When we go into talk to employers we admit that we sit on both sides of the fence - we employ teleworkers as well as working this way ourselves. I am passionate about it - it has made so much difference to my life as well as to the way we work"

The Association provides a range of materials of interest to the entire spectrum of teleworking, from the small virtual business to the large company. 

The TCA has also helped to promote, develop and support the UK's network of telecottages and telecentres.

Benefits to members

People who join the TCA receive a range of benefits. Informaiton provided by the Association includes the Teleworking Handbook , now in its third edition which is recognised as one of the most practical and comprehensive guides to the subject. 

Members of the TCA receive Teleworker magazine which covers a broad range of subjects from legislation through corporate case studies, technology items and individual stories. 

The Association also operates a weekly emailer which includes a clippings bulletin and news on work opportunities sent out to its 2,000 members. 

According to Alan Denbigh the TCA also actively courts difficult questions from the membership to our help line: "It helps us to keep on the ball and of course we can then use the information in our publications". 

The Association also runs a number of events - last year the 7th European Assembly on Telework , Telework 2000 which was held in London and attracted over 500 visitors. This year the Association is running a series of roadshows in November which include Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds and London. 

The message will be essentially practical - why should you do it as a business, how you do it and what the issues are that you will meet on the way

A virtual organisation.

Practicing what it preaches the Association is run on virtual lines - "we have a small core team spread across the UK and work with a series of freelance specialists", according to Alan. "Board meetings are mostly held via audio-conference which we have done from the start. We know there are issues with working remotely and having lived through many of them we think we are in a good position to speak with authority".

Chair of the Association is Sheila McCaffrey based in Northern Ireland well known as an enterprising business woman in her own right who set up the thriving yet remotely based business KITE (Kinawley Integrated Teleworking Enterprise) near Enniskillen. She has been a key figure in Irish teleworking. 

The Association supports itself from a mixture of subscription income, consultancy, a range of projects and sponsorship.

 

 

In Flexibility we wish to highlight the work of organisations that support and promote flexible work.

The TCA has been heavily involve in all aspects of promoting telework, and has a strong reputation at home and abroad for its work.

For more information see www.tca.org.uk  or call 0800 616008.

 

 

 

 

 


The Teleworking Handbook

 


Teleworker magazine

 

 

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