Where do we want to be?
Digital Economy Goal: by 2020, Australia will have at least
doubled its level of teleworking so that at least 12 per cent
of Australian employees report having a teleworking
arrangement with their employer.
Why is it important?
The digital economy allows Australians to log in and connect
anytime, anywhere, including to the office. By delivering
reliable, high-speed broadband to all Australian premises,
the NBN will give more employees and employers the
confidence to engage in teleworking. Teleworking is
broadly defined to include work undertaken at home,
use of mobile devices in transit or at a different place of
The NBN will also significantly expand the sectors of the economy that can confidently conduct
teleworking. For example, much of the services sector will be able to utilise high-quality video
conferencing and the advertising, graphics, video and other industries will be able to share and
collaborate on high-resolution graphics and audiovisual files. A recent survey of Australian businesses
revealed that 20 per cent believed the NBN would change their employment model by facilitating
increased flexibility in the location of staff and expanding the supply of skilled labour.81
Teleworking is important because it creates economic, social and environmental benefits. It is
estimated that the value of a 10 per cent increase in Australian employees who telework 50 per cent
of the time is between $1.4 billion and $1.9 billion a year.82
By facilitating flexibility in workplace practices, teleworking can increase productivity, lead to reduced
office expenses and increase labour force participation and staff retention.
Teleworking delivers benefits to Australian workers by increasing their workplace flexibility, allowing
them to better balance their work and family lives, and by giving people living in regional and rural
Australia greater employment opportunities.
By reducing the need for people to commute to the office at the same time each day, teleworking can
also reduce transport congestion, leading to reduced impact on our natural and built environment.
It is estimated that a 10 per cent increase in Australian employees who telework 50 per cent of the
time would also save an estimated 120 million litres of fuel, avoiding 320 000 tonnes of carbon
dioxide (equivalent to $6 million worth of emissions) and would reduce traffic at peak periods by
5 per cent, resulting in a reduction of $470 million in congestion costs, which would have a flow-on
benefit of reducing strain on infrastructure.83