The uptake of telework is definitely on the rise, with nearly two thirds of businesses using some form of telework. The construction industry is no stranger to telework with many businesses not even aware they are doing it!

Telework is most likely to be used by:

Telework landscape

While many businesses have employees who may either work from home or another location, many are not taking advantage of the technology available to improve teleworking success.

The use of mobile technology in the electrotechnology industry is significant with a survey conducted by Master Electricians Australia indicating that close to 80 per cent of electricians use smart phones on a regular basis. However, with many having access to ipads or tablets, 61 per cent are rarely using this technology. In fact, nearly 30 per cent of electrotechnology employers reported having minimal knowledge of digital tools and technology with almost half identifying a lack of knowledge as an obstacle.

There is clearly a lack of confidence among businesses on how to fully harness technology to keep their workforce “plugged in”.

The electrotechnology industry has outpaced national workforce growth with the number of electricians employed in Australia growing from 90,226 in 2006 to 110,713 in 2011. This 23 per cent increase, is in comparison to the national average of just eight per cent.

With the increase in competition, businesses need efficient systems in place to build business success. This includes communicating with staff, and customers, regardless of their location.

Telework can also bring about a better work-life balance for employees, while increasing productivity and engagement.

The Australian Government is committed to increasing the take up uptake of telework as part of its National Digital Economy Strategy which aims to position Australia as one of the world’s leading digital economies.

The goal is to double Australia’s level of telework by 2020, so that at least 12 per cent of Australian employees report having a telework arrangement with their employers.

Telework can deliver a broad range of benefits to individuals, employers, and the country as a whole. Businesses who are willing to take advantage of the opportunities offered by telework will be setting themselves up for success in Australia’s growing digital economy.

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