GreenIT.fr has reported that the French government has set the General Council of Industry, Energy and Technology (CGIET) the task of expanding teleworking in the public sector. Apparently the objective is to review telework practices and see how it could be expanded. If it proves possible, proposals will be drawn up and presented to trade unions at the end of next spring (which is how things work in France).
It seems that the country is lagging in the number people working from home – just 6% in 2008 compared with 42% in Denmark. It’s worse in the public sector with only 1%. By comparison, the figure in the US in 2007 for public sector teleworking was just over 6%, although a lot more were eligible, and around 7.5% in the UK.
While teleworking is less developed in the public sector than the private sector in France, it’s seen as an ideal candidate, since most work is paperless. It’s also a focus for the government looking to make savings.
GreenIT.fr points out that transportation and offices are the only two sources of public sector greenhouse gas emissions and were up 22% between 1990 and 2004. So broader telework could significantly reduce these emissions and help towards the French target of a 20% reduction in the 1990 greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The ICT sector will need to play its part.