Australian businesses put the ‘ME’ in SME

B2B Editor21 March 2017

Australian businesses put the ‘ME’ in SME

Fast broadband helping Aussie business owners to achieve the ultimate work-life balance.

In a quest to squeeze more valuable hours back in the day, new research released today shows Australian business owners are embracing access to fast broadband and cloud applications to help them save time and achieve a better work-life balance.

The nbn S-ME Time report authored by KPMG’s Bernard Salt reveals that although four in five (80 per cent) Australian business owners agree work-life balance was the key motivation behind starting their business, more than a third (39 per cent) say work still takes up precious hours they would rather spend on ‘me time’.

It highlights business owners are now spending up to half of their working week online, with three quarters (75 per cent) in industries such as construction, retail and hospitality now adopting sophisticated applications including cloud-based customer marketing, accounting and relationship management systems to increase productivity.

KPMG Demographer Bernard Salt, said:

“It is no surprise that Australia is a small business nation driven by an independent streak and a dream of becoming our own boss.

“We’re seeing a shift towards managing a sustainable work-life balance, where work fits around lifestyle and not the other way round. I anticipate with the advent of high speed broadband, work will be made to fit into times that suit the individual rather than lifestyle being made to fit into and around commitments.

“This is particularly evident as Baby Boomers look to reinvent themselves in the workforce and Gen Y ditches the confines of a corporate ladder altogether.”

nbn’s Head of Business, Products and Services, Ben Salmon said:

“As the rollout of the nbn™ network ramps up across the country, we are seeing Australian businesses regardless of location and size maximise their productivity and improve their work-life balance by embracing new technology powered by access to fast broadband.”

“For example, an owner of a ceramics store in Melbourne has been able to save up to 30 minutes each day since connecting to the nbn™ network by using cloud-based payment and accounting software. He now spends more time relaxing at his local cafe instead of chasing a paper trail or waiting for frustrating uploads.

“It’s important for businesses to know that connecting to the nbn™ network is not automatic and is a process which may take some time and preparation. We encourage all businesses who haven’t yet connected to speak with their service provider and discuss what they need to do to move their internet, landline and other services such as ATMs, EFTPOS and fax over to the new network.”

Key findings from the nbn™ S-ME Time report:

  • For love or money: Looking to reinvent themselves in the workforce and ditch the corporate ladder, the majority of Baby Boomers (87 per cent) revealed they started out their business to become their own boss. Ambitious Gen Y business owners indicated they are more likely to be motivated by financial rewards (79 per cent).
  • More ‘me time’: Baby Boomers are more likely to agree too much of their free time is spent on work and they would rather reinvest their free time on holidays (68 per cent) while Gen Y want to wind down and catch up on their sleep (42 per cent).
  • E-fficiencies: Almost four in five (78 per cent) nbn-connected business owners agree access to fast broadband is creating new efficiencies by helping them to get things done faster and achieve more ‘me time’.
  • The cloud-gen: Almost all (98 per cent) Gen Y business owners agree cloud-based services are particularly important to save time with around half (47 per cent) adopting cloud-based software such as accounting, email marketing and collaboration platforms to do this.
  • Family first: Three in five (63 per cent) empty nesters would rather spend their regained time catching-up with their children. Males are also more likely to spend more of their free time (59 per cent) with partners and children than women 48 per cent).

The nbn™ network is currently available to one in three Australians, is due to be half way complete by mid-year 2017, three quarters built the following year and scheduled to be complete by 2020.

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