More time with the kids in shift to work at home

DUBBO's office workers may work from home one day a week by 2020, thanks to a recent announcement by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Ms Gillard yesterday announced an increase in government 'teleworkers', up from the current figure of about 6 per cent to 12 per cent.

As part of its National Digital Economy Strategy, the federal government wants to double the number of teleworkers by 2020.

There are many reasons why people already opt to work from home, and many include having a family and working in a more familiar environment.

A number of Dubbo residents have spoken out about why they work from home and the benefits it has on their lives.

Full-time DCB Building office worker Larissa Williams works at the office three days a week and is home two days a week. Her one-year-old son, however, accompanies her at work which isn't a problem for her colleagues.

"At times it can be difficult but generally it's not too bad," Ms Williams said.

"The staff don't have a problem with my son being at work. It gets a bit hectic but we make it work."

Ms Williams said the government should encourage workers from an office environment to take any opportunity they have to work from home, as they could prioritise themselves better.

"It definitely works with having a family. If offered that opportunity, people should take it. It feels good to sit down with my laptop and organise the emails and banking, as well as the availability of office supplies... I would definitely recommend it to other people," she said.

Karen Cowper, of Shopa-Holic-Bargains, has two children at home with another baby on the way. The 'mixed business', which deals with everything from toys to clothing and perfume, is operated from home seven days a week.

She and her husband, she said, have discussed the opportunity of having a shop, but for the time being she enjoyed her time with the kids.

"I think it's a lot better to work from home because there's no hassles and it's so much nicer to be with the kids," she said.

Information technology expert Suzan Sadek, a mother of an eight-month-old daughter, said she would gladly work three days in an office and the other two at home but she has struggled to find somebody to look after her child.

"I think I could work three days a week with my baby in day care and the other two at home. With the experience I have, I think that kind of flexibility is perfect for my husband and I," she said.

anthony.cini@ruralpress.com

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