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Australian SMEs leading the world in flexible and mobile work

Friday, 14 June 2013 | By Rose Powell

Australian small business owners and employees are leading the way in flexible working arrangements, according to new research by international technology company Citrix.


The international survey of 1262 SME decision makers included 253 Australian business owners.


Half of the Australian business owners surveyed reported they had implemented flexible work policies for all staff, compared with 44% worldwide.


And it appeared Australian employees were driving the trend towards flexible work, with 38% of Australian decision makers reporting they felt increasing pressure from employees to introduce flexible work, compared with 29% worldwide.


Seamus King, Australia and New Zealand country director for Citrix, told StartupSmart flexible working arrangements and the use of mobile devices for work in Australia was taking off.


“The adoption of flexible working, through cloud based technology implementations means that, for any business, the flexibility to architect the most productive working environment is now possible,” King says.


The study also explored the concerns around flexible work, which usually sees employees using their own devices, or using work devices outside of the office.


About a third of Australians (34%) said they had security concerns about the devices used in mobile and flexible work.


While fewer Australian SME decision makers (14%) said they saw no possible productivity gains from mobile working compared to the rest of the world (20%), Australians were the most concerned about employees being distracted by their personal issues and phones during work.


King says Australian small businesses are still working out exactly how to implement and benefit from flexible work.


“The truth is that not all small businesses currently have the correct infrastructure or toolsets to make flexible working work for them, however this is constantly changing based on the solutions now on the market,” says King.


“There is no ‘one size fits all’. Instead, it is imperative to focus on the tools and processes that are needed to enable employees to collaborate and work together from wherever the business requires them to be; be it the office, the home or whilst travelling.”