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Three in five SMEs now have teleworkers within their business

04 Apr 2013

Latest MYOB research reveals teleworking uptake, key technologies used & business benefits

New research by Australia’s largest accounting software provider, MYOB, reveals almost three in five small and medium businesses now have employees who telework to some extent.

MYOB commissioned independent market research firm Colmar Brunton to conduct a nationally representative survey of 1,005 SMEs. One in four (25%) said their employees worked ‘mainly away from the office’, one in three (32%) said they worked ‘partly from home and from the office’ and the remainder did not have remote workers.

One key finding was that SMEs whose employees worked mostly from a location other than business premises were 24% more likely to see a revenue rise in the past year. They were 32% less likely to see a revenue fall.

CEO Tim Reed says, “The link between teleworking and improved business results is clear in MYOB’s research. SMEs whose employees worked remotely most or all of the time were 24% more likely to experience a revenue rise in the past year. 21% experienced a rise, compared to 17% whose staff only worked from the office.

“The link became even clearer when we investigated revenue falls in the past year. 44% of the SMEs without teleworkers saw a fall, versus 30% of those whose staff teleworked most of the time. This speaks volumes as to why empowering employees to work outside the traditional confines of an office is becoming increasingly prevalent. Businesses are realising the bottom line benefits and rewards from more engaged employees.”

Business advantages

Key benefits experienced by the 57% of SMEs whose staff telework include improved employee satisfaction, travel savings, reduced overheads and increased productivity.

Business benefits of teleworking technologies
Employees are happier 31%
Travel costs have been reduced 28%
Employees are more productive 27%
I can hire employees living in any location/s 17%
IT costs have been reduced 16%
Overall IT performance has been improved 15%
Business manager(s) is/are happier 13%
My business’s carbon footprint has been reduced 12%
Premises rental costs have been reduced 11%
The number of employee sick days has dropped 10%
I can attract higher quality staff 10%
IT issues have been reduced 9%
Other 12%

Mr Reed says, “Technology is a key enabler of teleworking and nowadays you don’t need to spend much money upfront to get started. There are plenty of simple free online technologies and applications available such as Skype, Dropbox and Gmail. And the cloud-enabling of new versions of more fully featured applications such as Microsoft Office 365 and MYOB AccountRight Live makes for an easy transition for working remotely.

“The initiatives emerging from the Federal Government’s National Digital Economy Strategy should also make the move an easier process. The government is running a range of programs that support its efforts to reach a target of one in eight Australian employees having a regular telework arrangement by 2020.”

Teleworking technologies

Respondents whose employees worked away from the office to some extent were asked what technologies they used for teleworking. Two in three used email, nearly three in five used laptops/computers and more than one in two used smartphones. Interestingly, fewer than one in 10 respondents used VPN and video conferencing.

Technologies used to assist teleworking
Email 66%
Laptop/computer 58%
Smartphone 55%
Instant messaging 25%
Telephone conferencing 19%
Security software / firewall 18%
Cloud computing services 11%
VOIP 9%
VPN (virtual private network) 7%
Router at the teleworker’s premises 6%
Video conferencing 6%
Other 6%
Those most likely to telework

Delving further into the research, SME operators most likely to use teleworking include those in:

  • Medium sized businesses (78% versus 53% in micro businesses, which were the least likely)
  • Business, professional and property services (70% versus 35% in agribusiness, forestry and fishing)
  • Gen Y (69% versus 50% of Baby Boomers)
  • Start-up businesses (68% versus 47% of established businesses)
  • Metropolitan based businesses (67% versus 45% of their rural counterparts)
  • Western Australia (60% versus 54% in Queensland).

For MYOB product information, research results, business tips, discussions, customer service and more visit the MYOB Business Monitor webpage, The Pulse blog, MYOB LinkedIn, MYOB Facebook or MYOB YouTube.

-ENDS-

For further statistics, comment or other information please contact:

Kristy Sheppard
MYOB Public Relations & Corporate Affairs Manager
02 9089 9068 / M: 0407 450 860 / kristy.sheppard@myob.com

About MYOB

Established in 1991, MYOB is Australia's largest business management solutions provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand, by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and now spends more than AU$30 million annually on research and development. In 2013, MYOB expanded its offerings with the acquisition of accounting solutions provider BankLink. For more information, visit myob.com.au.