Study sings praises of teleworking

Close of half of small and medium businesses now have employees who work from home or away from the office, new research has found.

Do you work for an SME, and mostly from home or away from the office? Soon, you might be in the majority. New research has found close of half of small and medium businesses have staff who work mainly or partly away from the premises, and that those businesses were 43 percent more likely to have seen a revenue rise in the past year than those without remote workers.

The nationally representative survey of 1,047 SMEs by Colmar Brunton found those most likely to telework were metropolitan based and in the professional and property services and construction and trades sectors.

According to respondents, technologies that assist them (beyond the usual email, laptop and smartphone) include instant messaging, cloud services, phone conferencing and VOIP. Fewer than one in 10 used VPN and video conferencing, however, suggesting those are still to catch on.

MYOB, which commissioned the study, said the link between teleworking and improved business results is clear.

MYOB general manager, business division, James Scollay said 40 percent of SMEs whose employees worked remotely most or all of the time experienced a revenue rise in the past year compared to 28 percent where staff only worked from the office.

“When looking at businesses whose revenue fell, 29% of the SMEs without teleworkers saw a fall, versus 23% of those whose staff teleworked most of the time.

"These trends speak 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.”