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  • 18 November 2013 08:38

Teleworking: Corporate Australia’s Unrealised Potential

Sydney, Australia, November 18, 2013 – Teleworking, the established approach to flexible working where employers provide their staff the option to work routinely away from the office, such as from home, remains ineffectively used by most companies in Australia, according to Logicalis.

The company says that most companies are forming bad habits in assuming that teleworking consists solely of a laptop, a broadband connection and some form of remote access. It goes on to say that without a structured approach and the correct connectivity, collaboration tools and physical workplace environment, employers risk undermining the productivity benefits of teleworking and leaving staff disengaged and inefficient. In advance of National Telework Week, the Government-led initiative which takes place November 18-22, Logicalis and Cisco, members of the National Telework Advisory Panel and contributors to the development of the Department of Communications Teleworking Toolkit, have released a a Guide to Teleworking Technologies as a free ebook. Intended for business managers, HR strategists and non-IT types, the Guide provides an introductory overview and explanation of the role that technology plays in enabling productive teleworking, the essential needs of teleworkers beyond broadband, the various options that exist and the fundamentals of delivering tomorrow’s workplace via a flexible working strategy. According to research undertaken by the Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society (IBES) at the University of Melbourne, productivity gains from telework are closely linked to the availability and use of adequate technology to enable and support telework, and enable employees to work seamlessly from virtually anywhere.1 A recent “TransTasman Telework Survey”2 undertaken by the University of Melbourne’s Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society and AUT University’s NZ Work Research Institute, and commissioned by Cisco found that most participating organisations failed to engage in any form of cost benefit analysis relating to telework, or seek to measure the positive benefits of this mode of working. It also found that the majority of organisations did not have a formal telework policy despite the finding that teleworkers exhibit increased levels of productivity, wellbeing and job satisfaction compared to non-teleworkers ((7-11%). “The benefits of teleworking are real but for these benefits to be realised there needs to be organisation-wide adaptation and a shift in attitudes and perception of teleworkers. Employers and employees must work together to develop a formalisation of the teleworking policies to ensure the power of the digital economy is truly harnessed,” said Tim Fawcett, general manager of government affairs & policy for Cisco Australia and New Zealand. “Technology alone is not the answer, it's the combination of people, processes & policies and the technology infrastructure that deliver productivity,” said Ian Ross, Strategic Solutions Director at Logicalis Australia. “Effective teleworking is a cross-organisation initiative that must consider the needs to remote workers as well as those still in the office. It needs to look not only how employees connect, but also how workflows occur, how staff communicate and how the social interaction of work can be effectively synthesised across separate locations.” Download a free copy of Logicalis' Guide to Teleworking Technologies ebook to learn more about the technology options for an effective strategy for teleworking, which includes connectivity, collaboration tools and the physical workplace environment.

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