Telework New Zealand

Telework strategies that benefit employers, employees and society: profiting from flexibility

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Flexible work practices

The world has changed -- and is continuing to change at an ever-increasing speed.  We need a smarter way to work: flexibility has become an important survival tool. Flexible work practices cover many concepts: temporal flexibility (flexi-time, nine-day fortnights, etc.), spatial flexibility (how the physical work space is designed and used), and geographic flexibility (where the work is done).

Telework is only one of a number of possible flexible work practices but it is one of the most effective and complete. It can incorporate many elements of temporal, spatial and geographic flexibility.

At its simplest, telework is work from a distance although it takes many forms and has many labels, including working from home, remote access, remote work, Mobilise, e-Work, telecommuting, and more.  It has also been been 'defined' in many different ways.  Some definitions have been created by academics, some emphasise the role of technology, and some focus solely on the home-office form of telework.  A more useful definition, based on what successful telework initiatives actually look like, is:

"Achieving our objectives by enabling, supporting and effectively
managing the performance of work in non-traditional work places"

Telework doesn't have to involve expensive technology, teleworkers are not usually out of the office more than two or three days a week, and there are many possible alternative work locations (not just the home). Almost every company approaches telework in a different way: there are many options.

 

Telework is about resilience in the face of change, and getting the most out of available resources.  It provides better ways of doing things, better ways of getting to work, and better responses to modern problems.

Telework provides an alternative to sitting in traffic jams, an alternative to office distractions, an alternative to tying up capital in expensive office space or car parks, an alternative to traffic congestion and an alternative to dangerous vehicle emissions.

Telework is about people, how they work, how they interact, and how they prepare for an increasingly uncertain future.

And it's about flexibility: flexible work locations and work times, flexible management structures, and flexible responses to the challenges of change.

Is normality getting dressed in the clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic jams in the car that you
are still paying for, in order to get to the job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, the car, and
especially, the house that you leave empty all day in order to live in it?
Ellen Goodman

There is a better way...

 

Telework in the office

Telework and transport

The many benefits of telework

The myths about telework 

Effective telework programmes are usually built around seven elements:

  1. They support out-of-office desk work, within ordinary working hours.

  2. They are structured, and promoted, as a voluntary and mutual agreement.

  3. They are available to all employees (within guidelines) as a normal work option.

  4. They are supported by performance management.

  5. They schedule and control telework in order to maximise benefits and avoid possible problems.

  6. They have clear corporate and individual objectives

  7. They are built into, and supported by, the corporate culture.

Not all telework programmes start with all seven elements in place but, to be successful, they recognise the importance of each and endeavour to make progress in all seven. 

Bevis England, Telework New Zealand, bevis@telework.co.nz.  Phone: +64-9-817 8024 or +64-27-494 0700  Skype: bevis.england

Last page update: Tuesday, 28 August 2012.  Please note that copyright on all content is retained by Bevis England.  Information may not be on-sold or used as part of any payable service or activity. Neither can it be transcribed, printed or reproduced in any form, in full or in part, without inclusion of this note. If you would like to be kept in touch, or if you have specific questions, feedback or comments please contact us.