Who goes into the office to work?
IN THE not too distant future, remote and off-site staffing will become the norm, and business will need to adapt to this new working environment or risk being left behind.
So says Vivienne Anthon, Queensland and Northern Territory chief executive officer of the Australian Institute of Management following the organisation's launch of its 2012 Managing in a Flexible Work Environment White Paper.
Developed in partnership between the Australian Institute of Management NSW and the Qld/NT branch, the paper reveals our aging population is beginning to serve as a powerful driver for workplace flexibility.
Teleworking or telecommuting, which is working from home or off-site either full or part-time, consistently ranked as one of the top two or three factors in engaging older workers.
Ms Anthon said there were both positives and negatives for employers who were prepared to embrace teleworking but she said it was an inevitable way of productive workplaces in the future.
"Flexibility is absolutely an essential part of the workplace," Ms Anthon said.
"It is not for all of the people all of the time and there are some roles which are impossible to be done from home or outside the office.
"Firstly, the employer must ensure the person understands the inner-workings and culture of the office so they can work productively offsite.
"I am certain it is the way of the future but not before there is some rigorous infrastructure and protocols in place."
Ms Anthon said the exorbitant cost of inner-city office space, combined with often untenable transport costs and availability, would also force employers to negotiate more flexible agreements with their staff.
"Rents across the CBD and the inner-city suburbs are very high and continually rising and having staff work from home is a sensible way of reducing overheads," she said.
"Finding office space with car parking is getting increasingly hard and we all know parking in Brisbane is as expensive as anywhere else in the world.
"Having some staff work off-site or from home alleviates these problems."