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The processes and policies you put in place for teleworking need to take into account organisation/business culture, the management of information, and how to manage and how to deal with time management and productivity.  In this section you will learn about

Strategic leadership

Strategic leadership will require the development of new e-skills and capability to lead organisations into gaining competitive advantage in the digital economy. Organisational leaders will need to understand how to ensure that ICT creates value and promotes a collaborative culture of trust and engagement for their businesses and this will underpin increased productivity.

There have been three major issues identified for driving changes to the future organisation of work, and development of skills and capabilities.

These are:

    • an ageing population and the need to encourage mature-aged workers to stay in the workforce

    • competition among employers for 'talent' - employees with sought-after skills and capabilities

    • the changing nature of technology, including broadband connectivity and the rapid spread and increasing capacity of mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smart phones

    • Employees' expectations about being able to make use of this technology.

Growing your capability to telework can help your organisation build competitive, and effective, advantage now and into the future. Developing the capability to make telework available to employees as part of your organisation's flexible workplace practices will assist you in meeting many of the issues affecting the workforce. It may be that staff across all levels and functions in the workforce should be able to telework to achieve desired outcomes.

Making a (business) case

The Australian Government, Department of Communication Telework website, has made available The Return on Investment (ROI) Tool, developed by Deloitte Access Economics. You are able to use this tool, free of charge, to assess your business; it will enable you to make a business case for telework.

You will need to include information about your business in order to calculate the costs and savings to your organisation. You will need to gather data regarding;

    • general information including information about the employees of your organisation

    • office space including size, rental costs etc.

    • parking provisions for staff and associated costs

    • utility expenses including gas, water and electricity

    • Productivity and turnover

    • ICT, likely home office set-up, and arrangements for remote access to office systems

Another useful tool is a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). Using a SWOT analysis grid, discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of implementing telework into your organisation. The results can be used towards the development of your business case.

Legislative requirements

Commonwealth and state legislation will have a bearing on your consideration of including telework as part of your flexible workplace practices.

Work, Health and Safety (WHS) - Essentially, the same requirements that apply to WHS in the traditional workplace will apply to a remote telework workplace. One way of addressing the WHS issues for the teleworker working from a home office is to provide a telework station self-assessment, supported by photographic evidence of their home office setup. This can be monitored by regularly checking with your employee that WHS risks are being managed according to the assessment guidelines.

Telework and the job design

When you are designing jobs with a telework option, take into account the interaction between the person, the technology, the tasks to be performed and your organisation's strategic purpose. Some examples would include;

    • Making sure the right key performance indicators are in place with a focus on performance based management

    • Flexibility with working hours

    • Ensuring the career paths and training opportunities are considered

Recruitment - This redesign of jobs in your organisation will also impact on recruitment. Recruitment agencies and job sites will need to identify whether jobs offer some form of telework as part of their flexible workplace practices so that people seeking to enter the workforce by taking advantage of telework are able to identify suitable jobs.

Information management and risk assessment

Once an organisation becomes digitally enabled and allows its employees to adopt anywhere work practices, the organisation must implement an electronic records management system that appropriately manages the security and access to information. Employees working from anywhere also include those working in an ad hoc working-from-home arrangement as well as working while travelling.


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