At Australia’s recent Forum on the Digital Economy the government pledged to have 12% of the workforce teleworking for at least one day a week by 2020.
Teleworking means working for an employer without actually having to go into an office. Employees get the flexibility to juggle work, family, study and caring responsibilities. This improves work/life balance, saves commuting time and cost, opens up job prospects, and reduces carbon footprint.
Last week Xero supported National Telework Week. As part of our involvement in teleworking we exhibited at the Click! Digital Expo with partners SimPro and Vend, and manned the booth with JBS Bookkeeping.
In addition, I was invited to present at the National Telework Congress and speak about the benefits of teleworking:
Many of our partners telework using Xero and other cloud based software like Dropbox and Evernote. One example I love to talk about is Robyn Howard, owner of Boost Bookkeeping. Robyn was working in Adelaide and moved from a desktop accounting software to Xero earlier this year.
Robyn and her husband made the move from Adelaide to Brisbane and continued to work for her Adelaide clients from Brisbane. The Internet enabled her to be connected, the weather was warmer and since working completely from home she has saved $950 over a six-month period on fuel alone.
With the introduction of the National Broadband Network, Robyn sees reliable high speed Internet as opening up huge opportunities for teleworkers. “It is too frustrating and time wasting to have a slow connection. As I charge by the hour I have to be productive with my time,” she says.
Robyn has experienced enormous advantages through teleworking. “The greatest benefit to me is the fact I can work from anywhere. My income has remained continuous despite the moves, which has been a big relief financially”. In addition, “Without being able to telework, I would have had to start my business again from scratch each time.
Morri Young is the MD of Matrix on Board, which provides financial management, management support and training and development to non-profit organisations across Australia. They have staff in Melbourne and Sydney that work with locals in the Northern Territory and remote areas of Australia and help them build their financial literacy.
Using Skype and Xero, Matrix on Board teach indigenous businesses how to do good quality bookkeeping locally. The NBN will vastly improve the consistency of Internet they receive in remote areas.
Zac Zavos says Conversant Media, an online publishing company he started with his brother, is a “million dollar business with a billion dollar infrastructure set”. Using Xero and other cloud products like Skype and Gmail, Zac is able to work with staff in Sydney, writers around the world and his brother and co-founder in Austin, Texas, while Zac works from Newcastle.
“As a small business, we’ve got an amazing set of products that are based in the cloud and really help our business grow,” Zac says.
Discover how teleworking and working in the cloud has changed Zac’s life: