Tuesday, 19 November 2013 01:27

Companies form ‘bad habits’ in managing teleworking

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Teleworking, the established approach to flexible working where employers provide their staff the option to work routinely away from the office, including from home, remains ineffectively used by most companies in Australia, according to a member of he government-established National Telework Advisory Panel.

IT solutions and managed services provider, Logicalis, 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.

Logicalis Australia Strategic Solutions Director, Ian Ross, made his comment just as National Telework Week, the Government-led initiative, gets underway. In advance of National Telework Week, 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 Guide to Teleworking Technologies as a free ebook.

According to Ian Ross, 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.

“Technology alone is not the answer, it's the combination of people, processes & policies and the technology infrastructure that deliver productivity,” Ross said.

“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.”

Cisco’s Tim Fawcett, general manager of government affairs & policy, for Australia and New Zealand, said research commissioned by the company, and undertaken by the Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society (IBES) at the University of Melbourne, had found that 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.

“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,” Fawcett said.

Download a free copy of The 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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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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