The working world of 9 – 5 isn’t the best or most efficient arrangement for a lot of people for many different reasons. First of all, when everyone is working the same hours on the same days and most jobs are concentrated in CBDs, you get terrible traffic congestion, eating up hours of potentially productive time for millions of people every day. Clogged roads are even hurting Australia’s overall economy, costing a whopping $16.5 billion dollars in private time and business time costs and extra air pollution costs last year.
There are a whole lot of personal reasons people might not operate best doing a traditional working week. Parents may want the option of working from home where they can spend more time with their children, night owls may feel they work better late at night as opposed to during office hours and people who have a long commute to work may prefer to save time by working from home.
But it’s not just employees that will benefit from flexible working – there are benefits for employers too. Some of these include: a more engaged, productive and motivated workforce, increased retention of staff, reduced levels of absences and a better workplace culture that is more attractive to prospective staff.
With a fast, reliable national broadband network, flexible working arrangements will be more feasible, and may even become the new way for Australians to work. Here are some of the ways the nbn™ could usher in an era of flexible working.
The World is your Office
If all you require is an Internet connection to complete your work, then why do you really need to do it from an office cubicle? With modern technology and a fast and reliable broadband connection, most things you can do in an office will be possible wherever you can connect. You can hold meetings over Skype, access and share files through the cloud and communicate via e-mail.
This opens up the opportunity for more people to work from home or on the go. Cafes that offer free WiFi could be your new “office space” or you can set up a great home office. When you don’t have to worry about a daily commute to work, you’re free to live wherever you want. This could lead to a shift of workers moving out of the big cities and enjoying more relaxed coastal and country lifestyles.
Working outside the office could mean a better work-life balance and higher quality of life for workers. Currently there are around 400k Australians who work from home and with the rollout of the superfast nbn™ network across Australia, that number is expected to rise to close to 1 million in the next 10 years.
Simplifying Small Business
One of the major obstacles when starting up a small business is the investment to get your ideas off the ground. It’s this obstacle that sees budding entrepreneurs applying for shows like Shark Tank, to try and convince rich investors to financially invest in their business idea. TV programmes like this show us there is no shortage of great ideas in the world, but often there is a lack of funding to back them up.
A fast reliable national broadband network is expected to cut the costs of starting up a small business. Firstly, it will be easier than ever to set up your business from home, saving you costs renting out space and setting up an external office. Working remotely means a business won’t need to invest in expensive office assets, reducing overhead costs with the added benefit of location flexibility.
The reliable connection of the nbn™ will mean more of the business can be taken online, with owners relying more heavily on affordable online tools (like accounting software) to save costs on additional staff, increasing their online presence and using cloud-based services to reduce expensive offline maintenance. Taking your business online means immediate exposure to a national and international market with 24/7 access to your business.
You may have noticed co-working hubs popping up around your city: communal offices fitted with all the amenities (WiFi, meeting rooms, desks, kitchens) where people can rent out space relatively cheaply. When they start up their business, young entrepreneurs are finding co-working spaces an attractive option for many reasons: it’s affordable, motivates them to reach their goals, and working in close quarters with all kinds of different businesses opens up opportunities for networking.
The rollout of the nbn™ creates more opportunities for co-working. Fitting a co-working space with fast and reliable Internet is vital to the success of the users: co-workers regularly use video conferencing, which needs a constant connection, and cloud computing that requires uploads and downloads to be as fast as possible.
To see where your exact location stands in the nbn™ rollout progress, check out the nbn™ Coverage Checker. This will let you pinpoint exactly where sites have been built or are in stages of preparation or construction. Make sure to register your interest on the nbn™ Wait List and check out iiNet’s nbn™ plans so you’ll be ready to roll when the nbn™ hits your neighbourhood.