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Our fifth post in the Telework Week 2012 series is from Seamus King, Country Leader for Australia, Citrix Online Services Division.


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I was really pleased to hear that Australia has taken a major step towards embracing the benefits of a workshifting lifestyle with the Australian Federal Government finally announcing the first National Telework Week will take place in November 2012.

Senator Stephen Conroy – Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy – said that the opportunities presented by increased telework were exciting for both employers and employees. He also outlined how an increase in telework can lead to benefits across the economy and community, from big businesses to individual workers and families as well as the environment.

Increased teleworking is already one of the eight Digital Economy Goals that form part of the Australian AU20 National Digital Economy Strategy. By making telework a National Digital Economy Goal, the Australian Government has signalled its intention to bring Australia into line with international levels of telework.

Deployment of the long-awaited National Broadband Network is now underway and will enable us Australians to interact with our workplaces more easily remotely. The falling price of mobile devices and mobile broadband, in addition to the expected explosion of Android-based tablets in 2012, also means that more of us will have the tools needed to enjoy the benefits of a mobile lifestyle.

We’re starting to see all the pieces fall into place. Australia is a country that is really embracing cloud technologies, and is recognized by analyst house Frost & Sullivan as the leading adopter of cloud technologies in the Asia Pacific region. While Australia went from lagging to leading the worldwide adoption of smartphones in just one year, the tablet market is also booming according to new research from tech analysts at Telsyte, which revealed more than 1.4 million devices were sold in 2011. This figure represents an annual growth of 330 percent over 2010 figures.

Telsyte expects the Australian tablet market to exceed 2 million units in 2012, with predictions to hit 5 million by 2016. If current trends continue, Telsyte forecasts that half the Australian population will be using media tablets by 2016. These forecasts tell a very compelling story and will mean that real-time collaboration services, such as video, audio, data and apps, are far more accessible and can help Australian workers stay in touch and work from wherever they are, hence driving higher and higher levels of productivity.

Senator Conroy has announced that Australia will be celebrating National Telework week during November 12-16, actively encouraging businesses to allow employees to work from home. One of the main reasons why teleworking has really taken off in the U.S. is the government has shown its support and actively promoted the benefits of working remotely.

With Australia now following suit, we’re sure to see more businesses take this movement seriously and adopt their own form of flexible working. I for one am really looking forward to seeing more of us embrace some form of mobile work style, and we will continue to see the nature of work change – from no longer being a place we go, but a thing we do.

Photo credit: mugley

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