Researchers at the University of Melbourne's Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society, (IBES) have found teleworking, increases productivity and wellbeing and results in many positive benefits for individuals.
However, Chief Investigator Dr Rachelle Bosua from IBES said it was important to establish the right environment between workers and managers to allow telework to flourish. "In particular managers need to ensure that workers have the appropriate IT tools and support structures in place," she said.
Prof Rod Tucker released the research white paper today at the Telework Congress 2012, the opening event of the Australian Government's National Telework Week. The event was held at the University of Melbourne and was co-hosted by IBES the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, the Australian Industry Group, Australian Information Industry Association, Cisco and Telstra.
"Telework is an interdisciplinary issue enabled by ICT, but needs to be supported by organisations," Professor Tucker said.
The research showed that managing teleworkers required different approaches and style to support workers. However, the research found that not all roles and tasks are suitable for telework.
Teleworkers can be more productive if they work away from the office on demanding tasks and can better use time lost to travel and transport. Teleworking allows workers to have a better work-life balance, increasing wellbeing.
The research team interviewed 28 employees across six organisations gathering management and employee perspectives on telework. Further research will examine the link between productivity and wellbeing.
The white paper, "Telework, productivity and wellbeing" is available here.
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