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Earlier this week on the first day of Australia’s first National Telework Week, the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard opened the week with a live Cisco TelePresence cross between Parliament House in Canberra and an audience attending National Telework Congress at Melbourne University. Focusing on Australia’s place in an Asian Century and the digital economy the Prime Minister highlighted the economic benefits telework will deliver. Research from Deloitte Access Economics, launched during her keynote, has found that by 2021 telework could contribute $3.2 billion dollars to Australia’s GDP. The Australian Public Service will be setting the standard, as Gillard also announced a goal to move to 12% of the public sector to regular teleworking by 2020 (see video here). Also watch the video to listen to the Prime Minister share how she uses Cisco TelePresence to in Government to the audience at the Telework Congress (see video here).

Also speaking via Cisco TelePresence was US Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich, on his teleworking experience and the important role that telework plays in America and the Australia-America relationship. 16 million Americans telework at least once a month, this saves about 1.5billion litres of petrol a year. Bleich also talks about how telework helps provide personal support in certain circumstances, such as Hurricane Sandy during which 33% of Washington federal employees teleworked (see video here).

Cisco’s own Jennifer Dudeck, the Global Director of Global Employee Engagement at Cisco spoke this afternoon at the National Telework Congress at Melbourne University. Here at Cisco we have been exploring telework for 20 years and nearly 90% of employees are involved in some sort of telework arrangement. Jennifer Dudeck talks about the conjoint top down and bottom up approach to telework that provides the support but also the adaptability to meet employee and employer needs. With 2 in 5 young employees and college students prioritising technology flexibility over salary, telework enables our future workplace (see video here).

And finally, listen to the panel discussion with Martin Stewart-Weeks at today’s National Telework Congress (see video here). Martin Stewart-Weeks is joined by Brad Wynter (City of Whittlesea), Mark Wolstenholme (NRMA), and Chris Ridd (Xero) who discuss the impacts of telework and how it can support the future challenges in transport, cities, and geography. The panel examines the changing infrastructure needs of our society and the inclusivity that telework can provide in catering for those currently excluded from the workforce. With urban areas being more densely populated over the coming years, telework is one way that traffic and congestion can be managed personally and at a city planning level.

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