‘Office Nomads’: the emergence of the connected worker

In BICSI Bytes by info@bicsi.com.au

According to nbn, innovative entrepreneurs are flocking to co-working spaces across the country in search of collaboration, inspiration and, importantly, access to fast broadband.

New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal a 25% uplift in sole-traders in the last year – a rate of more than 70 new businesses per week, compared with an average of around 55 new businesses per week in 2009.

Coined the ‘Office Nomads’, this growing group of business owners are ditching the structure of a nine-to-five job to pursue a freelance career by setting up shop at flexible and creative co-working spaces connected to the nbn network.

There are now more than 140 collaborative co-working centres scattered on the fringes of Australian capital cities and regional hubs catering for those in need of desk space and the latest tech-tools.

“With new Australian solo-businesses popping-up every day, the growing flexibility of our workforce provides ideal conditions for start-up businesses to take the plunge and get their business idea off-the-ground,” said KPMG Demographer, Bernard Salt. “This new tribe of ‘Office Nomads’ are no longer confined to a traditional workplace. Whether you’re a tradie, creative, consultant or accountant, access to fast broadband and a flexible work environment will enable you to be more productive by taking control of where, when and how you do business.”

Peter Bradd, co-founder and CEO at The Beanstalk Factory, a company that consults with entrepreneurs to drive business innovation, said: “Co-working environments will play an important role in the future of work. As co-working and collaborative environments become more mainstream, professionals are certainly making their location decisions based upon which spaces have the best internet speeds to get the most out of their business productivity.

“Those who choose to work flexibly typically rely upon cloud software and other online platforms to communicate, access and share information – so a quick and strong connection is critical.”

Bec Mutch, founder of the CoWorkCo creative co-working space remarks that connecting to fast broadband over the nbn network is an essential business offering for her community of start-ups: “I chose to run my co-working space from this location because it had access to the nbn network – it’s as important to us as having a chair!”