The governments of Australia and New Zealand are sponsoring national telework initiatives to encourage employers to raise awareness of the benefits of working from home or other locations outside the traditional office. The inaugural National Telework Week runs from November 12th to 16th in both countries.
Launching the series of weeklong telework events, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that the federal government’s goal is to have 12 per cent of public servant employees teleworking. Currently, about 4% of government workers telework. Some 130 companies and organizations have committed to the Week as official Telework Partners. Speaking via video link from Canberra, Gillard said working from home could add $3.2 billion to gross domestic product and create 25,000 jobs by 2020. These figures were based on research released today by Deloitte.
Deloitte’s survey found that 73 percent of part-time and casual respondents said they would telework if it were available and most were willing to change industries to obtain a teleworkable job. In addition, about sixty percent of workers nearing retirement age said if they could telework, they would delay retirement by an average of 6.6 years. In addition, two out of three persons with disabilities who are not currently in the labor force would take up telework if it was available to them.
New Zealand’s Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams officially launched New Zealand’s first ever Telework Week. As part of the week’s events, several members of Adams’ staff who usually commute into Wellington from the Wairarapa, Kapiti Coast and the Hutt Valley would work from home using ministry-supplied laptops.
Press release: First ever Telework Week launched http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/first-ever-telework-week-launched