Regardless of whether Sydney train drivers end up striking on Monday or not, it’s a great opportunity for companies to finally bite the bullet and trial teleworking.
Many Australian firms are still dragging their feet when it comes to allowing employees to remote work. This is despite overwhelming research and stats as to the benefits:
- It increases worker productivity
- It lowers stress and boosts morale
- It decreases office space requirements and cost
- It benefits the environment
- It makes talent more accessible
So why the fear and resistance?
Presumably, employers fear that staff will just sit at home and watch TV from 9-5.
If an employee does watch Netflix for eight hours on the company dollar, and you can’t tell, the problem isn’t theirs. It’s yours.
Here’s a little secret: most office-based workers aren’t working flat out 100% of the time. Most spend at least some time checking personal email and social media, reading the news, chatting with colleagues, having bathroom and meal breaks, and shopping online.
Granted, not every job suits remote working. But taking commuters off the roads will give time back to people who are required to be physically present in their workplaces. Professionals such as medical staff and retail and hospitality workers and tradespeople will be stuck for hours in gridlock heading into Sydney and back on Monday. Why add to their pain?
Let’s leave the roads clear for workers that really need to travel to a physical office. On Monday, let’s finally start using the internet for what it was created for: a way for people to connect and communicate and collaborate, wherever they are.