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Cubicles to cafés: Small business owners give flexi work a shot

Business owners ditch the office grind to give flexible working a shot.

There’s a new wave of workers ditching the office in pursuit of a flexible desk space and you won’t find them in cubicles – you’ll find them in the café.

KPMG demographer Bernard Salt predicts business owners will increasingly flock to local coffee shops in pursuit of easy access to fast broadband, relaxed meeting rooms, and double-strength lattes.

With nearly one million people in Australia running a business from home, this trend has the potential to be a game-changer for those ‘solopreneurs’ looking to break down their cubicles.

Bernard says “for many people, there’s no need to have an office in today’s working environment, you can access the cloud for files, take phone calls and complete work all from a café, hotel room or airport lounge.”

“Widespread access to fast broadband means the office is no longer the anchor; it is simply a touch down point as new technology liberates businesses and employees from the confines of set working hours or spaces.”

As the nbn™ network rolls out across Australia, many businesses will be able to take advantage of new technologies, providing them with the opportunity to access customers and suppliers more efficiently, regardless of where they are. 

Newcastle businesses are already jumping at the chance to test out this new way of working as local cafés make wi-fi offerings over the nbn™ network an integral part of their customer service.

Rebecca Stern, House of Bec. Image courtesy: Rebecca Stern.

Cafe Macquarie owner Ana Benson has seen first-hand the rise in small business owners working from her café and says “we’ve catered for people running meetings from the corner of our café or even Skyping with other colleagues.

“It’s exciting to know we can offer locals more than coffee and cake.” 

Image courtesy: House of Bec

House of Bec’s Rebecca Stern finds that she can be much more productive when working on the fly. “I drop my son off in the morning and tend to have a spare hour to myself so I find it the perfect opportunity to do some work over my morning latte.”

While working for yourself can be extremely liberating, working alone can be isolating so for small business owners like Bec, the café is a great solution for entrepreneurs going it alone. 

Last updated on 20 June 2016

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