National Telework Week research: Two in three SMEs now embrace teleworking

18 Nov 2013

Australia’s largest business management solutions provider, MYOB, reveals nearly two in three small and medium businesses now have employees who telework to some extent (64%), up from 57% in March 2013.

Released for National Telework Week, the results of an MYOB survey of 1,022 Australian SME operators show 27% have staff who work partly from home and partly from the business premises while 37% have staff who work mainly from a location other than on-premise. Staff of the remaining 38% work on-premise only.

Interestingly, businesses with teleworkers felt less pressure from common SME pain points such as cash flow (30% versus 34% of non-teleworkers) and price margins and/or profitability (27% versus 37%), though they slightly felt more pressure from fuel prices (46% versus 45%). 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.

They had a greater chance of more sales/work than usual in their short-term pipeline (30% versus 27%) and were slightly more likely to both expect annual revenue to increase (23% versus 22%) and be satisfied with their work/life balance (51% versus 49%).

A guest speaker at this year’s Telework Congress, MYOB Chief Technology Officer Simon Raik-Allen says, “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.”

Where telework happens

Delving deeper into SMEs that take advantage of teleworking, MYOB asked about the locations their workers operated from. One in two respondents said ‘mainly on the road’ while two in five (39%) said ‘mainly from home’.

Barriers to teleworking

The survey also asked SMEs without teleworkers why they didn’t leverage the now-commonplace practice. Two in five (41%) said their business wasn’t suited to it because employees needed to be onsite at all times, over one in five (21%) said they didn’t know, one in five (20%) 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% each).

Businesses most likely to telework

Of the two in three businesses with teleworkers, the following sectors were most likely to telework in some way:

 SECTOR MOST LIKELY TO TELEWORK LEAST LIKELY TO TELEWORK
Age group Gen Y business operators – 74% Baby Boomers & 65+ years – 60% each
Business size Sole traders – 69% Micro businesses – 55%
Business tenure Start-up businesses – 72% Established businesses – 59%
Gender Male business operators – 68% Female business operators – 59%
Industry Construction & trades – 89% Agribusiness – 26%
State Western Australia – 68% Queensland – 58%

For further information, download the MYOB Business Monitor: Teleworking Infographic

For MYOB product information, research results, business tips, discussions, client service and more visit the MYOB Australia website, or its The Pulse Blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

-ENDS-

For further comment or to arrange an interview please contact:

Kristy Sheppard

MYOB Public Relations & Corporate Affairs Manager

P: 02 9089 9068 / M: 0407 450 860 /

E: kristy.sheppard@myob.com

Symon Madry

Haystac Public Affairs Account Director

P: 02 8094 7779 / M: 0409 919 508 /

E: myob@haystac.com.au

About the MYOB Business Monitor

Established in 2004, the MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of small and medium business owners and managers, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. The most recent study ran in July and August 2013, surveying 1,022 operators from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes around areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline work, technology usage and government. Note: the weighting of MYOB client and non-client respondents is reflective of overall market proportions. This media release details the survey findings for the 300 importers and exporters in the respondent pool.

About MYOB Australia

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.