Hands up who wants to do home work?

THE rapid adoption of computer and Internet technology in offices and homes has introduced a new degree of flexibility to the modern workplace.

Recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that more than half of Western Australian adults have access to a home computer and just less than one-third have access to the Internet, giving them the ability to work outside their offices, outside office hours.

And while in some cases this could mean more hours working, for many it is an opportunity to better balance their work and family lives, according to Australian Computer Society WA branch chairperson Gee Lightfoot.

“The idea of having a set place where you work with set hours is very traditional and people, especially women, are using computers to work elsewhere, or at home,” Ms Lightfoot said.

“This trend will grow, as people really value their family lifestyle, and this allows them to combine both.”

In WA, a residential premises was the primary workplace for almost 90,000 people, yet almost 200,000 people did some form of work at home.

The growing number of employees who choose the comforts of their favourite armchair and home computer will require builders to re-evaluate the homes they build, according to homebuilders BGC Australia director Julian Ambrose.

Bigger home offices and more than one telephone line to accommodate Internet access will become more of a necessity, Mr Ambrose said.

“We have launched a new generation of home designs that are focused on the growing use of computers in the family home,” he said.

“As a result, many of our new home designs include generous amounts of space allocated to a study room that is large enough to accommodate a number of computers.”

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