THE WAY AUSTRALIANS WORK IS CHANGING AND BEING THERE IS AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE CHANGE
We live in an increasingly complex society. And, Australia’s changing workforce is a testament to that. But does it have to be something to be afraid of?
In a report titled Super Connected Jobs – Understanding Australia’s Future Workforce, KPMG Partner and veteran advisor to business and government, Bernard Salt explains that we’re headed for a great shift in how Australians work.
“The way Australians work, where they work, and the type of work done, will change,” he predicts.
This he claims is largely driven by new technology and access to that technology. This technology is designed to liberate workers from the confines nine-to-five, and working from dedicated workplaces.
Mr Salt goes on to say that workers in the future will demand greater levels of technology induced flexibility. This is what we witnessed with the Reaching Out W.A conference earlier this month.
Read Bernard Salt’s full report here.
REACHING OUT W.A
It’s not every day you get to witness thirty separate sites connected simultaneously, 20 connected by webcast. Let’s face it, a benchmark has been set for what we can look forward to in the future. Actually, for many of the participants it was their first time connecting to Being There for a fully interactive video conference.
Not only that, but great distances divided the participants who were scattered across Western Australia. In fact, the facilitator, Sharon Moore, manager of the Williams Community Resource Centre (CRC) was in her boardroom in Williams. Williams which is situated in the Great Southern region of W.A, some 160 kilometers south of Perth. In comparison, at the other end of the state were participants from Kununurra. Kununurra is 3,200 kilometers north of Perth on the W.A Northern Territory border. Imagine the logistics involved in getting all 30 people to attend the two-hour conference in Perth. Not to mention the travel and accommodation costs.
#beingtherevideoconferencing bringing communities together
Nicole Gale from Women’s Health and Family Services kicked off the conference. As you might imagine, there are many geographical challenges faced by people attempting to access health and wellness support in W.A. And that’s what led to the creation of Nicole’s service area. The Rural In-reach Program was launched four years ago with the help of video conferencing and CRCs across W.A.
“Using Being There we can offer counselling for people in rural areas, it allows improved contact, and community education,”
“I’m sitting here today at home in Fremantle linking in with you all, and that’s something that clients around rural WA are able to do as well,” she says.
CONNECTING PEOPLE WHO ARE DISENGAGED
Nicole’s says the Being There cloud service has been integral in helping disengaged people. What’s more she shared a story about a woman in her 50s who struggled all her life to fit in. The woman found it difficult to access mainstream community support. With access to video conferencing the woman was able to attend counselling sessions in the safety of her own home. She is now an active member of the community and has even started doing some volunteer work.
At the same time, Nicole says the platform is helping her connect with children in their own homes. As a result, one of her clients is a seven-year-old girl who attends counselling sessions on her iPad in her bedroom.
“Normalising video conferencing as a way to access counselling services is important,”
“Privacy and sense of security is of concern, so being able to access the service at home can be very valuable,” Nicole says.
In addition, Foodbank W.A Food Sensations Coordinator Vanessa Babongie says more men in rural centres are now engaging in their service.
“Even here in Perth we struggle to get men along to health and nutrition lessons,”
“But we’ve noticed quite a few men have attended the nutrition and cooking program that’s delivered via video conferncing,” she says.
Foodbank is the largest food relief organisation in Australia. Consequently, Vanessa says that before embracing the video conferencing service her team would travel across the state to deliver programs. This meant travelling vast distances and being away from home for days or weeks at a time.
AUSTRALIA’S CHANGING WORKFORCE
“How we worked in the past was doing regional travel and only being in a town for one-or-two days,”
“So delivering via video conferencing has enabled us to limit that travel,”
“And also save a lot of money by being able to go to three-or-four towns in one time,”
“We really try to incorporate using video conferencing to show the state government that it’s a useful medium,” Vanessa says.
#beingtherevideoconferencing saves your business time and money
PARENTING ADVICE AND SUPPORT
You’ve probably noticed a theme so far. Being There is helping service providers dramatically improve their reach throughout W.A. Indeed, Ngala’s Country Parenting Team echo the message.
What’s more the team say they can now give instant positive parenting feedback to families. This is possible because they can demonstrate techniques, observe families using suggested strategies, and help solve problems.
In the past families in remote or rural W.A had limited access to parenting support. You see, Ngala only provided sporadic visits because it came at a great cost, not only financially but also physically.
“We would have to leave here in a car at 6.30 in the morning, or we’d be on a plane somewhere and have to be at the airport at 4.30 in the morning to catch the plane,”
“We’d often still be doing workshops at 8 o’clock at night,
“So it’s very taxing on us and on our families,” says Julie.
CHANGE OF TOPICS – NO PROBLEM
Not only that, but there are other frustrations involved in preparing to deliver a particular topic face-to-face.
“Because of the people working on doing the interactive video conferencing we’re not too daunted if somebody might say ‘look I know I’m here about sleep but really I want to now a little about introducing solids, or my toddler is starting to throw tantrums, what can I do about it’?,”
“We’re now able to be fairly versatile,” says Julie.
That’s why the team is excited about what the future holds for families living in rural and remote areas. Above all, they say they now have the ability to provide people greater access to information they otherwise would have found difficult to acquire. As a result, and with the support of the CRC network and the Being There team Ngala is now able to deliver educational workshop series. Which means that, for the first time they are able to build strong relationships with families in rural and remote areas.
Likewise, building relationships is of primary importance to Linkwest. Linkwest is the peak body for neighbourhood centres across W.A.. Sector Development Manager Mihaela Nicholescu says that before using video conferencing people would travel to Perth or to their closest centre to attend training.
“What that meant was that centres that were very regional or very remote were at a disadvantage,”
“We want to support centres wherever they might be and to offer the same degree of support,”
“Video conferencing really provides that opportunity to be able to run the same type of training and the same level of support to anyone, regardless of where they are based in the state,” says Mihaela.
VIDEO CONFERENCING – THE WAY OF THE FUTURE
What’s more, Mihalea says reaching out regionally is no longer a challenge. She says the alternatives to using video conferencing are having a chat over the phone or communicating via email.
“Email leaves a bit to be desired in terms of building a rapport and conversations over the phone are great but it’s more difficult to get a sense of the person,”
“Video Conferencing allows open and free communication,” she says.
All in all, the feedback from conference participants carries a common theme. Most people say they are experiencing extraordinary benefits from using the Being There service. Even more importantly, they have been able to improve their reach and strengthen connections throughout W.A.. Also, those who already use Being There video conferencing agree that the service not only saves time and money, but also the technical support is second to none.
In fact, with Australia’s changing workforce the need for technical support to work remotely will continue to grow. The really good news, though, is that the Being There team are committed to helping you make the shift seamless.
“This forum is fantastic and to be linked in to the whole state is incredible and the possibilities are amazing.”
Francesca from Karratha.
To find out more or to book a demonstration give Pam 0418 284 138 or Gerry 0418 942 242 a call today.