It’s the latest phenomenon. Call it what you will – teleworking, e-work, remote work, mobile working, telecommuting, working from home, digital work, home-based work.
Telework is rapidly changing the dynamics of the workplace. With advances in technology such as the National Broadband Network (NBN), cloud computing and web conferencing— employers and employees alike are reaping the rewards that telework provides such as reduced office costs, reduced staff turnover, greater work/life balance and increased productivity.
By 2020, the level of telework in Australia will have doubled so that at least 12 per cent of employees will have a formal telework arrangement.
According to Tania Evans, General Manager at WorkPro—Australia’s leading web based employee screening, training and induction solution—“Employers considering telework arrangements for their staff need to be aware that work health and safety legislation applies to all types of work and workplaces, including home-based working.”
“Employers will need to implement appropriate guidelines, policies, procedures, training and education for those individuals, to minimize risks and ensure their workforce is safe, said Evans”
WorkPro has more than 600,000 users but less than one percent of these users have completed the working alone module—highlighting the fact that more education is needed to raise awareness of the fact that employers have a responsibility for their workers safety no matter where they are working.
More than a third of micro businesses now use the internet to enable staff to work from home which represents an eight percent increase in two years, while for larger businesses more than 75 percent now have the facility for staff to use the internet to work from home.
National Telework week (November 18-22) a national government initiative, aims to raise awareness and provide training material to get people involved in working from home.
Nina Sochon, Managing Director at teleworkhowto.com led the team delivering National Telework Week in November 2012, which gained such momentum that ‘telework’, or ‘work from home’, has become part of the national conversation ever since.
"Telework is a way that many businesses today are saving money, increasing individual and team productivity and increasing revenue. New research shows that over half of Australia's employees now use the internet to work away from the office, mostly from home," said Sochon.
According to Malcolm Turnbull, the Minister for Communication, “Improved access to high-speed broadband connectivity and the proliferation of mobile devices is changing how we work. It is increasingly relevant to say that work is what you do, not where you do it.”
“Investment in a digitally-enabled, flexible workforce must be part of any organisation's strategy to attract and retain skilled staff, increase productivity and make cost savings.”
The telework trend is here to stay so it’s imperative that businesses take responsibility to minimize risk and ensure their workforce is kept safe even when working remotely.
WorkPro has developed guidelines to educate teleworkers about workplace health and safety.
To assist organisations keep workers safe and meet compliance, WorkPro has recently launched a free Ebook on Remote and Isolated Work. http://workpro.com.au/public/ebook-remote-isolated-work/
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WorkPro is a web-based employment screening solution. The system represents best-practice in the mitigation of workplace risk, getting candidates work-ready and providing an auditable track-record of key compliance processes.
With more than 600 clients, WorkPro centralises key compliance-related processes including a library of work health and safety inductions, instant national police check service, an integrated visa check and licence/ticket management facility.
WorkPro was launched in early 2007. It has since been adopted as the Industry Standard in Australia and New Zealand. Close to 600,000 individuals have registered and completed WorkPro and the database is growing by over 10,000 per month.
teleworkhowto.com is a specialist firm working with small and medium-sized businesses to reduce costs and improve productivity.
teleworkhowto.com offers return on investment calculations, compliant telework policies and procedures, increased staff engagement, and whole-of-business solutions for greater productivity. Services are delivered flexibly, using Skype and online survey tools as suitable.
teleworkhowto.com was established to provide clear, effective methods for businesses to take advantage of the ‘anywhere working world’.