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Evolving workplace, evolving risks

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HC Online | 19 Feb 2013, 12:00 AM Agree 0
What is being done to prepare Australia for this impending telework trend, and how can the risks to employers and employees alike be reduced?
  • Steve Riddle | 19 Feb 2013, 05:24 PM Agree 0
    Thanks for the article and continued great reference points for discussion. I am a strong advocate of teleworking in Australia and globally, in fact. Although the concept of teleworking in practice is not new, existing for a couple of decades, it is only most recently that reality has caught up with intent. The reality of technology improvements, teleworking benefits and awareness, infrastructure challenges, environmental consciousness and other related factors have contributed to an uptake in teleworking numbers and increased profile. When combined with Federal Government initiatives in the U.S. and Australia, this is really just the beginning. My concerns stem from a lack of leadership to drive the effectiveness gains from teleworking in practice and as a concept for others to follow and feel good about it as an option.

    My belief is significant enough to have spent many months developing a framework to assist leaders who manage remote teams and/or teleworkers (www.teleworkmanagement.com).

    It is a mistake to assume that leaders, many of whom are struggling with their roles anyway, will automatically or instinctively develop the skillset to lead remotely. With no political bias or agenda, both of my companies have become official business partners with the Federal Government initiative aligned to the NBN and DBCDE, accessed via telewrok.gov.au. It is through this type of engagement that teleworking has a chance to establish a foothold with meaning.

    Initiatives such as this, combined with related promotional activities will assist to create an appetite and enable teleworking in its early stages. However, as highlighted by Tony Featherstone, it is up to our Government and business leaders to ensure that teleworking lives up to the hype and gains that it has the potential for.

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