Mitel Survey Clears the Air on Telecommuting - Distrust of Teleworker Productivity Reduces Adoption



    OTTAWA, June 5 /CNW Telbec/ - While the majority of Canadian and U.S.
workers believe that business and government policies to encourage people to
work from home could represent an effective way to reduce greenhouse gases
(GHG) and address global warming, corporations continue to distrust
teleworking, according to research conducted by Mitel(R).
    Sixty-eight percent of Canadian and 64 percent of U.S. service industry
respondents to a recent survey on the benefits of teleworking believe that
measures aimed at reducing GHG emissions, especially those related to
transportation, would be significant. However, while employees generally feel
that teleworking saves them time and that they use this time to work more
productively, 42 percent of Canadian and 54 percent of American employers are
concerned about how they can monitor employee productivity in the context of
teleworking.
    "Telework has been implemented to some extent, however the link with
efforts to address global warming is not clear to everyone," said Bob Fortier,
President of the Canadian Telework Association. "If the link between
teleworking and its benefits, including the many environmental benefits, were
publicized more, it is likely that organizations would be encouraged to
promote teleworking even more."
    Transportation is the largest contributing end-use sector to total
emissions. Since 1990, carbon dioxide emissions related to the transportation
sector have increased at an average annual rate of 1.5 percent according to
the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The growth since 1990 has meant
that transportation emissions have increased by 391.8 million metric tons,
representing 41 percent of the growth in unadjusted energy-related carbon
dioxide emissions from all sectors.
    Businesses contribute to transportation emissions through employees
travelling on business, distribution and transportation of goods, employee
commuting and other fleet operations. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
figures indicate that if just 10 percent of the nation's workforce were to
telecommute just one day a week, Americans would conserve more than
1.2 million gallons of fuel per week.
    "Nearly 40 percent of our North American employees telework, with each
mile not traveled between home and work saving on average 1.1 pounds of carbon
dioxide from being released into the atmosphere," said Don Smith, Mitel's CEO.
"By encouraging the use of our unified conferencing and collaboration software
we reduce not only our overall travel costs, but also 0.57 lbs of CO2 per
mile, per employee from being emitted into the atmosphere every time these
tools are used instead of traveling to a meeting."
    Between three out of 10 organizations in Canada and four out of 10 in the
U.S. report that they encourage teleworking with 59 percent of Canadian and
65 percent of U.S. teleworkers reporting they work from home at least once a
week.
    Organizations expect teleworking to grow in the next five years.
According to their projections, the proportion of employees doing it could
nearly double over the next five years. This is consistent with the fact that
most employees who do not yet telework would be interested in trying it.
    According to most employees, teleworking is a time-saver that allows them
to spend more time with family, to do more work and even be more physically
active. Consequently, teleworking can eventually have many positive effects,
not only on the economy, but also on work / life balance and healthcare.
    On behalf of Mitel, SOM conducted two surveys from March 16 to April 11,
2007, in order to measure how telework is perceived in Canada and the U.S. and
to what extent it is viewed as an efficient way to address global warming. One
survey was among information technology managers in small and medium size
organizations in Canada (n=100) and the U.S. (n=111) and the other survey was
among the Canadian (n=513) and U.S. (n=501) adult population.

    About Mitel

    Mitel, a leading provider of unifying IP communications solutions and
applications for business customers, is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with
offices, partners and resellers worldwide. For more information, please visit
www.mitel.com.

    Mitel and logo are registered trademarks of Mitel Networks Corporation.




For further information:

For further information: Media and Analyst Contacts: Simon Gwatkin,
(613) 592-2122, x. 3503, simon_gwatkin@mitel.com; Alex Anderson, (613)
592-2122, x. 2107, alex_anderson@mitel.com (industry analysts)

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