Up until now working for an employer from home has been a privilege enjoyed by only a lucky few. But with the continuing roll-out of the National Broadband Network (NBN) the Federal Labor Government is encouraging more employers to provide Australian workers with the means and the opportunity to work remotely.
Speaking at the official launch of the first National Telework Week today, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the Australian Public Service has set a target of 12% of APS employees regularly teleworking by 2020. The Federal Government hopes the APS example will encourage more employers to offer their workforce the option of working remotely from home and at other locations away from the office.
More than 130 companies and organisations have committed to the National Telework Week 2012 as official Telework Partners and ZDNet will be hosting a Google+ Hangout at 1pm on Tuesday 13 November 2012.
“This is the first national Hangout we’ve hosted on ZDNet, and it’s timely that we can use this technology to discuss the new phenomenon of teleworking,” said ZDNet Journalist Josh Taylor.
Panelists for the ZDNet Google+ Hangout will be:
Jeanne DeWitt, Head of Google Apps SMB
Yvette Blount, Research Coordinator for Australia’s Anywhere Working World Research Network
Abul Rizvi, Deputy Secretary for the Department of Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy
Andrew Griffiths, author of The Big Book of Small Business
“Our panelists are industry, government and small business experts who are bringing teleworking to their own work force, and can provide insight into the challenges and benefits they’ve already faced,” said Josh.
With advances in technology and increased internet speeds in our major cities, companies such as Cisco, Telstra, Westpac, Medibank Health Solutions, Microsoft and KPMG are already using telework to retain and attract skilled staff and reduce their operating costs.
In addition to the benefits for businesses and their existing workforce, the Australian Government says there are currently 340,000 Australian adults out of the workforce for reasons that may be remedied through telework.
Telework has the potential to increase the workforce participation of those who live in regional and rural areas, retirees, people with a disability and others who face barriers to working in a central office location.
“With telework, you can employ the best person for the job. It doesn’t matter where they live, if they have a disability that means they can’t commute easily, or whether they want to do their work at midnight. As long as they get the job done that’s what matters,” said Sue Egan, Executive Officer for Physical Disability Australia.
During National Telework Week, businesses are encouraged to learn more about the benefits and to register their involvement at www.telework.gov.au