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In Australia and New Zealand we are talking a lot about Work Your Way: the future of work and Telework, to coincide with the Australian Federal Government’s inaugural Teleworking Week which is also being held the same week as the New Zealand Government’s inaugural Telework Week, both from November 12 to 16.

Cisco, as a founding partner of both initiatives, will be helping our customers and partners to navigate this paradigm shift in traditional work practices.

Teleworking is a technology enabled cultural shift in the way we work. With rapid advances and uptake of mobility enhanced devices and technologies, such as smartphones, mobile video and web conferencing, coupled with the move to cloud computing, employees are seeing the opportunity to be unleashed from the constraints of the office desk. It presents an exciting new world of working that aims to better complement lifestyle, to make employees more flexible, and more productive.

Work Your Way looks at how Australians and New Zealanders are working in this fast paced, technological world. We are focusing in on the benefits and challenges of flexible working and what it will mean for our future workspace. We’ll examine many topics around teleworking, such as the cultural influences and barriers; impact on regional, rural and global workers; implications for those previously disenfranchised from the workforce such as the disabled; addressing the gender gap; how to manage remote teams; the potential impact on public infrastructure; and the changes to our ever evolving idea of work-life balance and lifestyle.

The Cisco Connected World Technology report from 2011 indicated that 26% of young Australian professionals believe that remote working is a right, not a privilege and employers are increasingly taking note. The productivity payoffs alone make flexibility changes worthwhile, with research indicating that for every three hours an employee gains from flexible working, they give one back to their employer. However it is the gains to employee satisfaction and connected retention that is leading the biggest transformation, as teleworking allows a more supportive environment for a diverse range of lifestyles, locations and ability levels.

With the roll out of the National Broadband Network in Australia and the Ultra-Fast Broadband initiative in New Zealand, teleworking will be instrumental in opening the channels that will help Australia and New Zealand transition to a digital economy of the future. This is a cultural shift that will empower people to more effectively create the lives that they wish to live.

If you’d like to participate in National Telework Week in Australia in November you can find more information, including a calculator to work out how much time and money teleworking can save you when you register at the governments Telework website.  More information on Telework in New Zealand is available here.

We’re keen to hear about how you work and how you would like to work, so come and check out the Cisco Work Your Way website, keep an eye out for our upcoming series of blog posts and follow the Cisco ANZ Twitter feed (@CiscoANZ, #telework) to keep up to date with our exploration of the possibilities, obstacles and opportunities that Teleworking will present.

Do you have a telework story or vision for work in the future? We’d love to hear about them, so please share them with us in the comments below.

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