the many benefits of telework

National Telework Week.

This week (12-16 November 2012) is the first National Telework Week (NTW) in Australia.

As part of the government’s push to make Australia one of the world’s leading digital economies, NTW aims to bring awareness to the benefits of working from a different location (most specifically a home office) one or more days per week.

Current and new technologies make it easier than ever to communicate with colleagues and allow remote working. And with the aim of doubling Australia’s current level of telework (6%) by 2020, the National Broadband Network (NBN) is expected to be a main player in facilitating this.

Proving that location is not a major factor, Prime Minister Julia Gillard appropriately launched NTW on Monday via videolink. And there are a host of other benefits to working remotely, not least of all an increase in the workforce. By breaking down geographical barriers, employment in regional Australia is set to rise.

Higher productivity, reduced commuter congestion, cost savings, improved work/life balance and better access to skilled employees are also being spruiked in the big telework push.

All of the above sounds very positive, doesn’t it? Though it is worth bearing in mind that Australia is still well behind other western countries when it comes to using the Internet for business.

I’m all for innovative companies looking to implement telework arrangements, but there is often a lack of enthusiasm that comes from managers.  If the take up of telework is to be successful, attitudes towards the traditional workplace need to change.

So, what are you doing to incorporate telework into your life?

Still not convinced? Try these statistics on for size:

  • 7 out of 10 people (69%) are more productive when working remotely
  • 25 hours spent working from home is the equivalent of 40 hours in the office
  • If 10% of Australians worked from home 50% of the time, we would have 5% less traffic congestion