A recent research report released by Telstra found that despite most small businesses spending more than 20 hours per week working remotely, many don’t have the technology required to support this working arrangement.

The Out of Office Nation survey of 1,000 small business owners found that as many as 76 per cent of small businesses are unable to access business-critical files and data while they are on the road or outside of the office, and more than one third believe that they could run their business more efficiently if they had access to better technology.

John Boniciolli, Telstra executive director of small businesses, said small businesses are continuing to look for ways to maximise productivity and improve customer service and mobile technology is increasingly becoming an essential tool of the trade.

“Our research shows that 37 per cent of small business owners are too focussed on the day-to-day running of their business and are frustrated by the amount of time they have to spend in the office. Mobility is no longer a preference for any business, it is a key requirement to remain competitive and our goal is to provide the tools and technology to enable this,” he said.

“Small businesses need to take the time to talk to their technology provider about the range of options now available to them that will ensure they can operate effectively while on road. At Telstra this includes everything from operating smartphones, laptops and tablets on high-speed 4G mobile broadband and mobile Wi-FI technology, to utilising the cloud and in a digital age, there are tailored options for companies of all shapes and sizes.”

But one business that is benefiting from the adoption of mobile broadband is electronic bike importers and distributors Easybike. Embracing mobile technology has allowed the company to stay ahead of its competitors.

Allan Birrell, operations manager for Easybike Australia, runs operations from the Perth and Melbourne stores – spending three days in Perth and three days in Melbourne each week, working predominantly on the road.

Birrell uses his laptop and tablet to remotely link to the office in Melbourne when he’s in Perth and vice versa. As a result, Birrell and the team of four are reliant on Telstra’s Mobile Wi-Fi devices. While running operations of the business from both offices, at home and from airport lounges, Birrell can effectively work remotely and access all data files and programs while travelling, improving productivity.

“As adaptive as our bikes are to any road, path or cycleway, we have learnt to take a very flexible approach when it comes to working while away from the traditional office environment. With Telstra’s mobile broadband we can access our emails, files and other important business information, as well as respond promptly to customer enquiries and work with our global suppliers around the clock, no matter where in Australia we are,” said Birrell.