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Work is where the smartphone is: Why Aussie small business owners are embracing working on the move


A Galaxy Research study commissioned by Optus SMB reveals six-out-of-10 Australian small business owners believe they can run their business more effectively when they are out on the road instead of driving a desk.

The study, which surveyed 500 SMB owners nationwide to better understand how they work on the move, also found owners could free up five weeks a year if they were able to attend to more business tasks while out of the office. More importantly, 68 per cent said performing business tasks on the move enables them to more effectively juggle their work/life balance.

Getting things done on the move

Almost two-thirds of owners said being out of the office and working on the move improved their business efficiency while one-quarter said it allowed them to reach out to more customers and provided more time to grow their business.

SMB owners said they work from their vehicle as they still had a business to run even when out on the road (65 per cent), that it was more convenient (47 per cent) and because they had everything needed to get the job done (40 per cent).

Bosses say they are still able to make calls, answer emails, respond to client requests and close deals while on the move by making use of smartphones, tablets, laptops, mobile internet and cloud computing.

Two-thirds of SMB owners surveyed said they would save more than four hours a week if they were able to do more on the road while four-out-of-10 would be up to three hours better off.

On average, Australia’s 2.03 million SMB business owners spend 7.4 hours each working week in their vehicles.

You need to have the right tools

Rob Parcell, Managing Director of Optus Wholesale, Satellite and SMB, said having the right technology and easy access to fast mobile data is the key to remaining productive on the move.

“This study shows that Australia’s small business owners want to innovate but also that they want mobile technology that works for them,” Rob said.

“SMB owners indicated new technology could increase their productivity on the move, with the top wish list items being the latest smartphone, a new tablet, a better laptop, mobile access to sales and accounting software and voice dictation.

“These tools could really help small business owners become more productive and save time, which they can choose to use to complete other work or spend with their families and friends.”

The places where Aussie small business owners choose to work on the move include; vehicle (70 per cent), coffee shop (47 per cent), on holiday (43 per cent), client work sites (42 per cent) and hotel rooms (40 per cent).

Cloud and software solutions used when out and about are; internet banking (83 per cent), financial software (44 per cent), Dropbox (37 per cent), Microsoft Office 365 (31 per cent) and Google Drive (22 per cent).