ACS advocates growth in teleworking

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ACS advocates growth in teleworking

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has spoken out in favour of a recent advisory addressing work/life balance and the local skills shortage.

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has spoken out in favour of a recent advisory addressing work/life balance and the local skills shortage.

The findings of the Telework Advisory Committee, announced earlier this week, urged the Federal Government to encourage the growth of teleworking, in order to further enable associated benefits to business, government and the community.

The Committee suggested six areas of action including management training to overcome the inability of many managers to design, implement and supervise ICT-enabled remote working arrangements effectively.

Promoting telework in the business community and Australian Public Service, building up technological capabilities, the creation of a Telework Online Resource Centre to act as a centralised repository of available information and resources, were also suggested.

The Telework Advisory Committee was tasked with examining the potential for flexible working arrangements, or telework, to assist communities, government, employers and employees to meet a number of economic, social and personal goals.

In a statement ACS president, Philip Argy, said the society had been a consistent advocate of the role technology could play in the creation of family-friendly work environments.

“We welcome the findings of the report and we are pleased to see many of the conclusions are consistent with our recommendations to Senator Helen Coonan when we released the ACS Work/Life Policy early last year,” he said.

The ACS Work/Life Policy supported teleworking, where appropriate, up to two days a week, as well as a flexible working day built around the core hours of 10am – 3pm.

“Technology changes will shape the future of our Australian workforce and already offer many solutions to employers looking for ways to increase flexibility and productivity,” Argy said.

“Mobile phone and broadband developments in particular mean working from home has never been easier.

As ICT University enrolments were down and skills shortages remained a pressing concern the industry needed to provide the best possible conditions for existing workers and to open up opportunities to attract people back to the industry.

“An increase in the use of teleworking will allow people currently inhibited from participating in the workforce due to family responsibilities, age or disabilities, to offer their skills to the Australian economy,” he said.

Argy also called for a particular focus on telecottaging - a form of teleworking that blended the advantages of working at home with benefits of traditional work such as social interaction.

Telecottaging could also offer employers significant economies around infrastructure provision and worker amenities that home working did not accommodate.

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