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Cisco investigating telework with IBES and AUT

Networking products vendor, Cisco Systems, has commissioned a trans-Tasman study to examine the impact of teleworking as a flexible work practice among Australian and New Zealand (A/NZ) businesses and government organisation.

The project, which will be carried out by the Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES) and Auckland University of Technology (AUT) Business School, will examine the use of telework among "thousands of employees".

Key focus areas of the study will include facilitators and barriers for telework uptake, telework productivity, and quality of life and wellbeing of teleworkers. It will also look at management attitudes towards telework, and the ability of existing organisation systems and processes to adapt to flexible forms of work.

"This research is intended to increase workplace understanding of the human resource, cultural and technology issues teleworking raises and help devise appropriate strategies to maximise the productivity benefits of telework," Cisco A/NZ enterprise and public sector managing director, Ken Boal, said.

"We think this is important especially in light of the national teleworking target to have 12 per cent of the Australian public service regularly teleworking by 2020."

The research will be led by AUT professors Tim Bentley, Erling Rasmussen, Felix Tan, and Stephen Teo, in collaboration with the University of Melbourne's Rachelle Bousa.

"The opportunity to gather insights from a large number of organisations provides the foundation to increase our understanding of how telework impacts productivity and wellbeing, allowing the development of effective strategies for management," Bousa said.

Bentley added that, while the advantages of telework are understood, it remains unclear as to why A/NZ organisations have been relatively slow in adopting it.

The research will commence this month and is scheduled for release in October 2013.

Follow Nermin Bajric on Twitter: @nermin_au


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