The trend for teleworking – or working from home – has doubled in the last five years for SME directors according to a new survey from O2 Ireland.
In contrast to five years ago 49pc of SME directors say that they no work remotely from home at least one day out of the month – up 25pc from 2005.
The survey of over 300 SMEs conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes for O2 found that over a quarter (26pc) of SME directors are semi-regular teleworkers, choosing to work from their home office for five or more days of the month and they are hopeful that this trend will continue to grow – 23pc of those surveyed believe this to be the case.
The move towards ubiquitous broadband access through both mobile and fixed line offerings has pushed this trend forward by enabling the worker to do much of his/her work out of the office.
"The growth in teleworking by SMEs has been greatly facilitated by the continued uptake of services such as mobile broadband and O2’s new fixed line service for SMEs," said Alan Brown, business sales director, Telefónica O2 Ireland.
Interestingly one in five of those SMEs who choose to telework report that they are more productive when away from the busy office environment, choosing to concentrate on major projects and funnily enough only 3pc said that the decision to work remotely was based on avoiding heavy commuter traffic.
"We may be witnessing a perfect storm of better mobile office solutions, more flexible attitudes to working and the need for greater productivity, which is creating this upsurge in teleworking," said Brown.
"The research would indicate that senior SME executives are seeing the benefits that teleworking can offer them in terms of convenience, productivity, cost effectiveness and control."
Further to this over 25pc of the SMEs who said they telework actually run their business entirely from home.