The role of staff in the operation of telecottages
Keywords: telecottage, staff, qualification, education, economic operations
The main purpose of establishing telecottages is to improve the provision of IT infrastructure in rural settlements via providing community access. The quantity and quality of staffing is a key factor in the long term operation of the telecottages. National and international literature focuses on the fact that use of the IT tools of telecottages requires suitable staffing. A survey conducted in 2004 showed that managers working in the questioned telecottages typically have higher education qualification, but only 54% of them receive any sort of remuneration for their work. More than half of the client service associates have secondary qualification, and every third of them does not receive any remuneration for their work. The survey findings indicate that the skills of the client service associates of the telecottages are quite appropriate, but the lack of financial incentives causes significant fluctuation among staff due to social insecurity. A survey conducted by Fabulya conducted two years later (in 2006) indicated that the situation had not improved but had gotten worse: in 2006, half of the telecottages surveyed operated without any paid employees. To successfully operate a telecottage, employees need to be motivated and financially encouraged. Due to the constant lack of financial resources, telecottages are not able to provide appropriate financial incentive to the workforce. Difficulties of the operation can be resolved by transforming the system of grants and subsidies.