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The right connections could be key to jobs of the future

Zane McIntyre with Anthony Vyner (left), Elise Reilly and Macushla Montell.
Zane McIntyre with Anthony Vyner (left), Elise Reilly and Macushla Montell. John Mccutcheon

A LAPTOP, a wi-fi connection and a good cup of coffee could help create the equivalent of 25,000 full-time jobs nationwide in less than 10 years.

National Telework Week, AKA Digital Work Week, which began on November 12 and will wrap up tomorrow, set out to highlight the benefits of flexible work arrangements.

It was to prove that employees who are able to work from home or other locations away from the office, using broadband and digital technology, have a big future.

Research shows by 2020-21 impacts of telework could help grow the annual GDP by $3.2 billion.

Tech heads and the creative kind ahead of the curve proved just how valuable that kind of work was when they took over The Velo Project this week.

Local creative agency The Creative Collection alongside online and offline social partners descended on the Mooloolaba cafe on Wednesday armed with their laptops, tablets and smartphones to spend the morning sipping cappuccinos, collaborating, and "tele-working".

"It is great that in this day and age you really can work anywhere. You don't need to be chained to a desk, in an office with no natural light, breathing in air conditioning all day long," The Creative Collective CEO and founder Yvette Adams said.

"We live on the Sunshine Coast and we might as well enjoy the lifestyle that comes with living and working here."

Ms Adams said free wi-fi was an important service cafes needed to offer to capitalise on the growing sector.

"I don't know why more venues on the Coast don't make offering free wi-fi a higher priority," she said.

"Being able to access a reliable internet connection and work from anywhere is certainly very high on my priority list when going to a café to do business, or when booking a hotel.

"I'm surprised by how many still don't offer it."

Leading companies such as Cisco, Telstra, Westpac, Medibank Health Solutions, Microsoft and KPMG are already using telework.

FACTS AND FIGURES

66% of people with disabilities who are not in the labour force would take up telework if it was available to them;

74% of people with family or carer responsibilities who are not in the labour force would take up telework if it was available to them;

60% of people nearing retirement age would take up telework if it was available to them; and

70% of people living in regional/remote Australia who are not in the labour force would take up telework if it was available to them.

Topics:  careers future jobs work