14 November 2012 — Teleworking – the ability to work from a location other than the office – can and should play an important role in lifting Australia’s economic prospects, according to KPMG Australia research. As a signatory to National Telework Week, KPMG developed the research to better quantify the business benefits of a more flexible approach to work environments. Chief economist Nicki Hutley said population, participation and productivity were the key drivers of economic output. Benefits of teleworking included improved capacity to recruit and retain staff, reduced absenteeism, reduced commuting costs and associated environmental savings and overall better work-life balance, he said. It also allows greater participation by older workers and those with disabilities. Mr Hutley said the participation rates for those aged 55-64 year old lagged behind many comparable countries. If Australia increased participation rates for this age group by 7 per cent, this would raise GDP in 10 years by $25 billion or 1.4 per cent.