Conroy announces National Telework Week

| January 17, 2012

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has announced the creation of an Australian Telework week, following on from a unanimous vote by delegates at the 2011 National Economic Review.

At the summit, hosted by First 5000 parent company, Global Access Partners’ (GAP), Tim Fawcett, CISCO General Manager Government Affairs & Policy, made a case for Australia to follow the United States’ lead and create a National Telework Week. In the US more than 35,000 businesses and organisations pledge to allow employees to work from home for a week.

He expressed his views on sister publication Open Forum – The changing nature of work: Australian National Telework Week – saying that telework aligns beautifully with policies for developing a high productivity, high participation, high wage, high skilled, and low carbon economy.

National Telework Week will be held from 12 to 16 November and is to convened by the Australian Government with the purpose of encouraging as many employers and employees as possible to trial teleworking.

Senator Conroy said the opportunities presented by increased telework were exciting for both employers and employees.

“An increase in telework can lead to benefits across the economy and community, from big business through to individual workers and families as well as the environment,” he said.

“These benefits include cost-savings and productivity gains, increased workforce flexibility, expanded supply of skilled labour, reduced impact on the environment, reduced stress from traffic congestion and increased time available to spend with family and the community.”

Senator Conroy said that Australia currently lags well behind the leading nations for telework rates and the Government, in its Digital Economy Strategy, has set a goal to double Australia’s telework rate by 2020.

“Cultural barriers by employees and employers are some of the factors contributing to our poor telework rates, so it is important to address those through education and awareness of telework’s benefits”, he said.

Initial partners in National Telework Week include the Australian Human Resources Institute, Australian Industry Group (AIG), Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the Australian Network for Disability and the Local Government Managers Australia. Cisco, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Unity4, Telstra, Blackberry, Polycom, Infrastructure Australia and the Green Building Council of Australia have also agreed to become partners.

Registrants will receive regular updates on preparations for National Telework Week which will also be posted to the website LinkedIn (search for Telework2020). Discussion on Twitter will use the hashtag #telework2020.

Organisations interested in partnering with the Australian Government to promote telework are encouraged to make contact via telework@dbcde.gov.au. For more information on telework visit www.nbn.gov.au/telework.

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