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Telecommuting data across South-East Queensland

Author: Bronwyn Buksh

The purpose of this research is to examine telecommuting data across South-East Queensland (SEQ) and ways in which telecommuting can be promoted and brought together with coworking in the establishment of a network of Flexible Work Centres or Digital Work Hubs across the SEQ region. This work will inform policy and investment in Work Centres and Hubs in South East Queensland.

ABS and public service data from the Queensland Government has been collected to examine commuting rates across SEQ. This data has been used to determine the areas of highest need in regards to teleworking support, and the areas of greatest potential for the development of coworking centres.

Essentially this work seeks to drive coworking across the entire region through new ways of thinking about, and promoting, telework and mobile work. This paper finds surprising daily shifts of workers around the SEQ region, and the high dependence of commuters on rapidly congesting transport infrastructure. Although most commuters travel directly from commuter zones and lifestyle regions to the Brisbane CBD, there is also significant traffic between other urban and region centres.

This work supports the case for a network of support centres for teleworkers, freelancers, and start-ups, acknowledging that mobile work is gaining importance within the public and private sectors. Policy and investment to support mobility may come in many forms, and these are listed in the paper’s discussion.

This paper provides new data on telecommuting rates and patterns around a major Australian city, and discusses novel policy and investment direction to encourage the utilisation of high-speed broadband infrastructure, coworking, mobile-working and teleworking.