Australian telework places : a socio-behavioural exploration of home-based teleworkers

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Embargoed until 2021-12-01
Copyright: Shieh, Abbas
Telework is a flexible way of working in time and space, using communication technologies for teamwork relationships. It has become prevalent during recent decades in many countries including Australia. Socio-behavioural studies of positive and negative effects of telework have focused mainly on non-place-related factors. The role of place-related factors such as physical, spatial, infrastructure and environmental characteristics has been overlooked in many studies. The central research proposition explored in this thesis is the significance of these latter factors in explaining teleworkers’ level of work motivation. The research addresses this gap by analysing the effectiveness of the home as the most common place of telework in Australia and explores the factors determining teleworkers’ work motivation. A conceptual framework is developed to illustrate how place-related in addition to non-place-related factors affect the work motivation of teleworkers, guided by Self-Determination Theory exploring the psychology of motivation. A quantitative methodology is used to collect quantitative data defined identified in the conceptual framework from a survey of 277 employee and self-employed home-based teleworkers across Australia. Descriptive and inferential analyses provide an understanding of the character and status of Australian telework. Predictive analyses identify factors significantly affecting Australian teleworkers’ work motivation such as age, income, life stage, dwelling type, length of residence, workload, telework arrangements, workspace size, equipment, distraction, isolation, public transport access, private vehicle use and local area characteristics. The results also confirm the central research proposition that place-related factors have critical roles in explaining teleworkers’ level of work motivation. The results support a review of the position of telework at local and metropolitan levels of Australian planning policy to increase teleworkers’ level of work motivation. Policy suggestions for government support include encouraging formal telework agreements, modifying homes for telework for vulnerable social groups, developing telework on the outskirts of Australian cities and in small regional cities, encouraging compact urban form, and developing collective work hubs at the local level.
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Shieh, Abbas
Freestone, Robert
Mojtahedi, Mohammad
Searle, Glen
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PhD Doctorate
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