The trend towards more flexible working has been underlined by new research that reveals that six in 10 small businesses allow employees to work from home.
The report, conducted by Telstra and analyst firm IDC, shows that 65% of SMEs have at least one member of staff who spends the majority of his or her time outside the office.
More than a third of the 500 small firms surveyed have the majority of staff working outside the office. Three quarters of those polled have provided laptops for staff, with a further 55% distributing smartphones for work use.
Deena Shiff, Telstra Business group managing director, says that the lines between home and office are “increasingly blurred”.
“Usually we’re talking about fast-growing start-ups playing a vital role in our economy,” she says. “They are using the internet to target their products and services to a global market.”
“Other research we have run has shown they are often run by women who have set up their own businesses to conveniently re-enter the workforce or to escape corporate life.”
“Similarly, we’re seeing people setting up regional-based businesses as they seek a sea-change or tree-change escape.”