‘Hybrid Teleworkers’ Are More Productive And Satisfied
For Immediate Release
Trans-Tasman Survey Finds ‘Hybrid Teleworkers’ Are More Productive And Satisfied with Their Job, But Organisations Need to Provide More Support
AUCKLAND, 30 October 2013: Employees who telework one to three days per week – so-called ‘hybrid teleworkers’ - are more productive than workers who do little or no telework, according to a new study jointly undertaken between AUT University’s NZ Work Research Institute and the University of Melbourne’s Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society, and commissioned by Cisco.
The research, which surveyed more than 1,800 employees and almost 100 managers in 50 businesses and organisations across New Zealand and Australia, found that teleworkers believe their flexible work arrangements allow them to be more productive and to perform better at work, while managers found teleworkers to deliver better work outcomes and suffer less from absenteeism. The key statistics include:
Teleworkers are more productive and satisfied with their job
• Ratings for productivity were significantly higher (up to 12 percent) for hybrid teleworkers than non-teleworkers, based on a range of measures
• 71 percent of employees agree that teleworking has a favourable influence on their overall attitude toward the job, suggesting that telework opportunities are important for retaining employees. 73 percent say using teleworking technologies fits well with the way they like to work.
• 4 percent agree teleworking makes it difficult to communicate and collaborate with colleagues.
Teleworking is now mainstream, with ‘hybrid teleworking’ the most popular model
• 89 percent report teleworking one or more hours per week with the mean number of telework hours standing at 13 hours per an average 40 hour work week.
• The majority of employees are either low-intensity teleworkers (less than eight hours per week teleworking: 35 percent) or hybrid teleworkers (one to three days per week: 38 percent). Just 16 percent telework more than 3 days per week.
• 85 percent of employees telework from home with 77 percent having an office or permanent workstation available at their employer’s workplace.
The key enablers of successful telework are trust, good management and the right technology support, but organisations could provide teleworkers with more support and structure
• 70 percent agree that their manager trusts them to be productive and focused on work outcomes while teleworking.
• Nearly half of teleworkers (47 percent) say their employer or manager is aware that they telework but there is no formal telework policy or agreement in place.
• Less than 50 percent have received telework-related training across areas such as management of teleworkers, providing a safe and healthy work environment in alignment with the Health and Safety in Employment Act (HSE Act), and the effective use of technology to stay connected with colleagues and work systems with the appropriate levels of security.
• The majority of managers indicated they would like more training to help them manage remote employees and to help teleworkers successfully set up their home office.
“The benefits of telework and flexible work practices have been recognised informally for a long time, but for the first time, we now have a substantial piece of Trans-Tasman research to quantify the benefits and opportunities telework presents,” says Professor Tim Bentley, Director of AUT University’s NZ Work Research Institute.
“While the research has shown us that productivity among teleworkers is rated significantly higher on a range of measures by hybrid teleworkers, we have also found that organisations could benefit even further by establishing appropriate performance management for teleworkers and undertaking cost-benefit analysis of their teleworking arrangements. Indeed, most are not currently measuring the positive benefits of these work arrangements either culturally or in terms of the real estate savings,” concludes Professor Bentley.
Geoff Lawrie, Country Manager Cisco New Zealand, agrees the research provides valuable insights for organisations engaging in flexible work practices: “We know work styles have changed and that the traditional “9-5” work day is no longer the only way to work effectively,” says Lawrie. “Both our customer feedback and our own internal experience demonstrates that flexible working drives productivity and brings about the cultural changes that improve staff engagement and business outcomes. This research will assist New Zealand and Australian organisations to consider the management, human resource, cultural and technology opportunities that telework presents.”
Notes to editor:
For a copy of the The Trans-Tasman Telework Survey please visit www.workresearch.aut.ac.nz
The Trans-Tasman Telework Survey was undertaken between April and September 2013. It surveyed 1827 employees and included nearly 100 qualitative interviews with managers from 50 organisations. The study was cross-industry and included a wide range of organisation sizes from small-to-medium enterprises through to organisations with 200+ employees.
About AUT’s NZ Work Research Institute
NZWRI provides high quality research across a broad multidisciplinary programme concerned with people and work. Unique in New Zealand, the Institute’s Future of Work Programme addresses the challenge of rapid workplace change, driven by new digital technologies, globalisation, environmental pressures, changing workforce demographics and new forms of social interaction and organising. The scope of the programme is broad yet distinctive, and involves collaboration between research groups and key individuals from across AUT University’s faculties along with our external partners in a well-coordinated multidisciplinary initiative.
About University of Melbourne’s Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society
The Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES) is an interdisciplinary research institute at the University of Melbourne aligning research and industry interests across four research themes; business & government, culture & community, education & learning, and health & ageing to drive innovation in broadband applications for the benefit of society. Established in 2009, it is supported by the University of Melbourne, the Victorian State Government and its industry partners.
IBES, in partnership with Cisco, will be hosting the Telework Congress on Tuesday 19 November 2013. This will be a leading event in the Australian Government's National Telework Week. Details and registration can be found here: http://teleworkcongress.com.au
About Cisco Systems
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