Jacqueline Lehmann

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Happy workers better for business, and business owners are the happiest of the lot: Research

7:41AM | Tuesday, 16 July

Work-life balance among Australian workers is waning but bosses and younger employees in small businesses are happiest, according to new research by flexible workplace services provider Regus.   The report also found Australian business owners were the happiest workers.   Jacqueline Lehmann, the country head of Regus Australia, says this wasn’t a surprise given the control entrepreneurs have over how they work.   “Business owners are slightly more satisfied with their work-life balance than employees are, which sends quite a strong message that when you’re more in control of how you organise work, you’ll probably do a better job and you’ll feel better about what you’re doing,” Lehmann says.   Small businesses had a higher rate of happy staff, the report says. Almost 70% of staff working in companies with fewer than 50 staff said they were enjoying work more this year, compared to almost 60% of those employed at larger businesses.   Lehmann says business owners could do more to increase flexibility and work-life balance, and that this would lead to bottom line and talent retention benefits.   “As a team, you should sit down together ask how can we organise our work so we are more productive for the organisation. Can we work smarter and have less stress?” Lehmann says.   She adds the pressure of a regular commute and having to fit family, fitness and extra interests into the gaps around a full-time job are significant, and that those who aren’t assertive in adjusting their work are more likely to move on.   The report found Australian baby boomers were less likely to report they were achieving more this year (63% compared to 81% last year).   “This finding was surprising to me,” Lehmann says.   “Even though the youngsters are working more, they still feel better about how they work. When we look at younger members of the workforce, they are looking for completely different things in a job, and they’re not the people who want a rigid schedule. They want to use new technology and have some say in how they organise their work. They are probably also a bit better equipped, and more assertive in demanding that.”   Globally, 60% of workers said they were working longer hours because they were still managing additional duties picked up during the global financial crisis. Fewer baby boomers (50%) were spending more time at work than Gen X and Gen Y (58%).   “My generation hasn’t known anything else until quite recently. No one ever asked us how much time we lost in the commute, and how stressful that balance was. Younger employees are a lot more outspoken. They want to have a say.”

77% of Aussie entrepreneurs would do it all again: Report

5:17AM | Wednesday, 22 May

Almost 80% of Australian entrepreneurs would start up again if given the chance, new research shows, despite almost as many citing lack of access to credit as their main challenge.   The research comes from flexible workplace provider Regus, which surveyed more than 26,000 business managers and owners in 90 countries, including small business owners in Australia.   A small business is defined by Regus as having zero to 49 employees.   The research reveals 77% of Australian entrepreneurs would start up again if given the chance, despite the fact that 75% cite lack of access to credit as their top challenge.   Accessing credit isn’t the only challenge Australian entrepreneurs face.   More than two thirds (67%) of the local entrepreneurs surveyed cite red tape as a top challenge, followed by lack of government support (56%) and current economic conditions (56%).   More than half (52%) of Australian entrepreneurs also cite market domination by large corporations as a serious hindrance.   According to Regus, the results highlight the nimble and flexible nature of Australian entrepreneurs.   “Who knows what state the economy would be in if entrepreneurs decided to play safe and downsize like a lot of their larger and arguably better resourced competitors,” says Jacqueline Lehmann, country head of Regus Australia.   “What I can say, from seeing a lot of entrepreneurs here who work with us, is I think this is a great testament to what we call the ‘Never say die’ attitude.”   According to Lehmann, Australian entrepreneurs are willing to deal with challenges in order to remain autonomous.   “It really seems that once someone has been exposed to really being in charge of their own success and their own destiny, that it is going to be pretty hard to go back to corporate life,” she says.   A separate study from Millennial Branding and oDesk shows people are indeed drawn to entrepreneurship because of the perceived freedom and autonomy.   Millennial Branding is a US-based research and management consulting firm while oDesk – also based in the United States – claims to be the world’s largest online workplace.   They commissioned independent research firm Genesis Research Associates to conduct a global survey of 3,193 people, all of whom are independent workers and active oDesk users.   The survey found 72% of those still in “regular” jobs would like to quit “and work only for myself at some point in the future”, with freedom cited as the top reason.   Almost 90% said they would prefer to choose when and where they work rather than being tied down to a corporate job.   According to oDesk chief executive Gary Swart, the results are not surprising because “no one today wants to be confined to a cubicle”.   Interestingly, almost 60% of the professionals surveyed already classify themselves as entrepreneurs.   According to 90% of the survey respondents, an entrepreneur is defined as someone who has a certain mindset.   When asked to identify aspects of this mindset, respondents said an entrepreneur is a “self-starter”, “risk-taker”, “visionary” and someone who “spots opportunity”.   Only 10% of respondents defined an entrepreneur as “someone who starts a company”.   Like the Regus research, this study shows entrepreneurship is challenging – 47% of those familiar with the term “entrepreneur” said there are downsides.   However, 53% said being an entrepreneur is “an entirely good thing”.   Meanwhile, 75% of all survey respondents said the benefits of being an entrepreneur outweigh the downsides, while 38% would recommend pursuing a “promising start-up opportunity” over a traditional university degree.

Are Aussie start-ups set for an export boom?

3:36AM | Friday, 15 March

Given the strength of the Australian dollar, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s not the ideal time for diving into export markets.

Top 10 worries keeping Aussie start-ups awake at night

11:39PM | Wednesday, 7 November

Cash and marketing are the two biggest concerns for Australian start-ups, according to two separate pieces of research released today.

Workplace stress costing Aussie economy $730 million a year: Report

9:46AM | Thursday, 13 September

Employers are being encouraged to offer flexible working arrangements to reduce workplace stress, which is believed to be costing the Australian economy $730 million a year in lost productivity.

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