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:
Teleworking is now mainstream, with ‘hybrid teleworking’ the most popular model.
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.
“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 Trans-Tasman Telework Survey please visit www.workresearch.aut.ac.nz
Esther Harward, Communications Manager
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