Teleworking week shines spotlight on HR’s flexibility

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Today marks the launch of Australia’s first National Telework Week. Announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the government is shining the spotlight on the business case for working from home.

Telework means working regularly from a place other than the office, in most cases from home. It utilises information and communications technology to stay connected to colleagues and work systems.

Gillard said that increasing telework opportunities is the key to enabling more people to join the workforce, and to demonstrate its commitment, vowed that by 2020 at least 12% of federal public servants will work from home.

''Harnessing the benefits of new technology and work patterns will be important for Australia if we are to embrace the opportunities of the Asian century,'' Gillard said today. “That's why the government is building the NBN and why we want to engage with employers and employees to inform them of the possibilities of telework.”

Notably, Deloitte research has suggested teleworking allows for the possibility to deliver an extra $3.2bn a year to the gross domestic product by 2020-21, which would be the equivalent of 25,000 full-time jobs.

The recent Citrix Workplace of the Future report also underscored the necessity for Australian organisations to embrace mobile work styles and flexible work conditions. The study found the Australian workplace of the future will provide fewer than seven desks for every 10 office workers, and each person will access the corporate IT network from an average of six different computing devices – making the ability to transition work to remote work options essential.

The study also revealed benefits such as organisational improvements in attracting and retaining the very best people by increasing flexibility and improving work-life balance.

Meanwhile, employees benefit from increased personal productivity (70%), less commuting time (61%), more flexibility (59%), and a better work-life balance (49%).

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