Telework rationale and implementation for people with disabilities: Considerations for employer policymaking

Nathan W. Moon, Maureen A. Linden, John C. Bricout, Paul M.A. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Telework has been promoted as a viable workplace accommodation for people with disabilities since the 1990s, when information and communication technologies (ICT) had developed sufficiently to facilitate its widespread adoption. This initial research and accompanying policy recommendations were prescriptive in nature and frequently aimed at employers. OBJECTIVE: This article adds to existing policy models for facilitating successful telework outcomes for people with disabilities. Drawing upon two studies by the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Workplace Accommodations, we expound on employee-side considerations in the implementation of telework. METHODS: Our policy model utilizes established typologies for policy evaluation to develop a process model that considers rationales and implementation factors for telework among people with physical disabilities. RESULTS: Telework may be used as an accommodation for disability, but employee rationales for telework are more complex, involving work-life balance, strategies for pain and fatigue not formally recognized as disability, and expediency in travel and transportation. Implementation of telework as a component of workplace operations is similarly multifaceted, involving non-technology accommodations to realize job restructuring left incomplete by telework. CONCLUSIONS: Our model grounds new empirical research in this area. We also renew our call for additional research on effective telework practices for people with disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
JournalWork
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Employment
  • work environment
  • workplace accommodation

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