Two in three SMEs now embrace teleworking

by FM Media
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Released for National Telework Week, the results of an MYOB survey reveal nearly two in three SMEs now have employees who telework to some extent.

According to the results of an MYOB survey of 1022 Australian SME operators released for National Telework Week, 64 percent of SMEs now have employees who telework to some extent – up from 57 percent in March 2013.
The survey found that 27 percent have staff who work partly from home and partly from the business premises while 37 percent have staff who work mainly from a location other than on-premise. Staff of the remaining 38 percent work on-premise only.
The MYOB survey also found that businesses with teleworkers felt less pressure from common SME pain points such as cash flow (30 percent versus 34 percent of non-teleworkers) and price margins and/or profitability (27 percent versus 37 percent), though they slightly felt more pressure from fuel prices (46 percent versus 45 percent). Fuel prices was the top pressure point for SMEs overall, and has been since March 2011, while cash flow and price margins and/or profitability tied for second, according to the survey.
In addition, the survey results state that they had a greater chance of more sales/work than usual in their short-term pipeline (30 percent versus 27 percent) and were slightly more likely to both expect annual revenue to increase (23 percent versus 22 percent) and be satisfied with their work/life balance (51 percent versus 49 percent).
The survey also asked SMEs without teleworkers why they didn’t leverage the now-commonplace practice. Two in five (41 percent) said their business wasn’t suited to it because employees needed to be onsite at all times, over one in five (21 percent) said they didn’t know, one in five (20 percent) said they had other reasons, while close to one in 10 said it was too disruptive and another one in 10 said they haven’t assessed and managed the risks associated (8 percent each).
A guest speaker at this year’s Telework Congress, MYOB chief technology officer, Simon Raik-Allen states, “Teleworking is an increasingly attractive proposition as more business operators become comfortable with using advanced hardware, software and online services. They’re more comfortable with how technology transforms the way we work and how we communicate with each other. A greater number of operators are realising the bottom line benefits, and a wider range of cost-effective telework-enabling technologies are entering the marketplace.
“Our research shows teleworking can play a vital role in business success, providing benefits including increased efficiencies and productivity, reduced overheads and happier employees. It’s about implementing the right technology and learning to make the most of it to maximise your and your team’s effectiveness. A well-structured and tailored teleworking program can ensure more businesses reap the rewards and attract and retain the best staff who can deliver from anywhere.”

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