The government thinks more workers will consider at-home offices once the NBN is completed, but Get Real Finance’s Kelly Cameron-Tull warns working from home is not always ideal.
National Telework Week, an initiative relating to the new National Broadband Network, opened on Monday, with the government announcing a goal of having 12% of public sector employees “teleworking" from home by 2020.
However, there is some scepticism in the broking industry about the at-home work trend, with Cameron-Tull - who used to work from home - warning that home offices don’t suit everyone.
“You have to have a lot of discipline. I know a lot of other people who aren’t as disciplined and start doing other stuff around the house."
She also says if she was ever ill, business-related visitors found it hard to accept her taking a day off.
“I had chickenpox as an adult, but people would still show up at the door and say ‘just tell her it’s me.’ Now, if I’m at home, people won’t try and hunt me down.”
Despite this, Cameron-Tull says working from home can be great for some brokers and admits that she may have been more productive in her home office.
MFAA’s Phil Naylor says the broking industry has historically tended to move away from home offices, but says it’s too early to say whether faster internet access will change this.
“I think the whole NBN project, when finally implemented, will be beneficial for brokers and it’s impossible to say what will happen because the broking network is very dynamic," he said.
"Many brokers started working from home, but many are now working from offices – that’s just how the industry has grown.”
Despite reports that teleworkers achieve greater work/life balance, Cameron-Tull says the opposite was true for her.
“I was pregnant and I just wanted the separation from work – I didn’t want to be working with people downstairs and hearing my baby cry upstairs…I think I actually have a better work/life balance now.”