Technology has levelled the playing field so much that you can practically work from anywhere these days.
And as the battle for a better work/life balance becomes a clear goal for most in this digital age, increasing numbers of business owners choose to run their empires from home.
While some may have thought that working from home meant you had to sacrifice your earnings and ultimately accept that less money is the trade-off, that’s certainly not the case.
These days, all sorts of businesses are being run from home offices or even the dining room table, and earnings are no trade-off. In fact, many are turning over six or even seven figures. After all, with an internet connection, laptop and phone, who knows where you’re working from?
Even those basing themselves in one of the growing number of startup hubs or co-working spaces popping up all over the country actually work from their home office at least a couple of times a week, depending on whether they’re feeling social, or not.
And while working from home isn’t for everyone, it’s certainly got appeal for many, particularly those running their own business motivated by growth. Or people looking for work/life balance that travelling hours a week to an unstimulating office environment never could.
Samantha Hurst launched ClickStartDigital from her home three years ago, which turned over $300,000 last year. That’s expected to rise to $600,000 this calendar year.
While Hurst has an address in Sydney’s business district which she works from once or twice a week, she favours her home office. Location isn’t important, she points out. Her tools are her internet connection and phone.
Hurst has a background in the corporate world, which helps people launch an online retail business from home.
“There’s no such thing as job security anymore, and that fact forced me to think about what I was going to do next. My business has quiet and busy periods, but the great thing is that I base my business around my personal life. I typically take Fridays off, and work when I feel like it.”
Sharon Thurin also runs her empire from home. The founder of global healthy snacking business, Slim Secrets, explains that she outsources many aspects of the business. The brand is sold to major Australian retailers and 10 countries around the world, turning over in excess of $2 million a year.
A growing number of entrepreneurs are harnessing the internet to run their business from home, including the growing army of Australian ecourse entrepreneurs. You know the ones – clogging up our inbox and Facebook feed with promises to make us more money, run our own successful business from home, lead happier lives, run an ecourse of our own or take better photos. Many of those running these courses claim to earn six-figure annual earnings, and the most successful ones are earning more than many CEOs.
Some of the best known and highest earnings ones include Denise Duffield-Thomas, the money coach behind Lucky Bitch, Julie Parker of Beautiful You Coaching Academy and Rachel McDonald of In Spaces Between, a blog coach.
Research from a couple of years ago found that work patterns and places of work are changing dramatically as a result of increased adoption of technologies. Undertaken by the Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society at the University of Melbourne and Auckland University of Technology, it surveyed more than 1800 employees and almost 100 HR and senior managers in 50 businesses and organisations in Australia and New Zealand.
“Our findings indicate a more positive relationship between the ability to telework and wellbeing, which in turn contributes to more productive workers,” one of the lead authors, Dr Rachelle Bosua says.
“In addition, work and family life is getting more blended and entwined. These elements pose unique challenges to successfully manage a new era of flexible workers and measure outputs.”