During last month’s Australian Telework Conference, Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered a remote video speech committing to have 12 percent of Australian Public Service employees work from home on a regular basis by 2020.
While critics say Gillard is using her teleworking initiative as an excuse to justify allocating money toward the country’s National Broadband Network, advocates are cheering the move for its contribution to sustainability and work-life balance.
Despites its mountain of benefits, telecommuting does come with challenges, including learning to work with others in a virtual environment, staying motivated, learning communication and cultural sensitivity skills, and combating loneliness.
In essence, the trick to successful telecommuting program is ensuring the job can be performed remotely and the person performing the job is the right fit for the job and telecommuting. Those working from home must be self-motivated and able to adapt to the unique co-worker and supervisory relationships inherent in telecommuting.