Home and remote working on the rise

FEARS over the economy and the need to cut costs is prompting many small businesses in East Anglia to close down their offices, according to a new survey.

FEARS over the economy and the need to cut costs is prompting many small businesses in East Anglia to close down their offices, according to a new survey.

Of more than 500 small businesses questioned by mobile phone company O2, one in 10 (11%) said they had chosen not to renew a lease in the last eight months into order to work remote or from home.

O2 estimates that more than 60,000 small businesses in East Anglia have quit their offices since the onset of the credit crunch in November - and nearly one third (31%) of those still working from dedicated business premises are considering giving it up within the next year.

The need to reduce costs was cited by eight out of 10 of the businesses questioned as the greatest reason behind the move. Credit crunch fears and the threat of possible recession are also making small businesses reluctant to commit to new fixed-term rental contracts.


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In addition to saving on overheads, flexible working and advances in mobile technology were also identified as reasons behind the growing numbers of small businesses choosing to give up fixed business premises.

The lack of a fixed office premises was said by respondents to have had little impact on customer relationships, with an increasing number of customers grow receptive to the benefits of new technologies. Eight out of 10 small businesses operating from home said their customers were not concerned about their lack of an official office premises.

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Simon Devonshire, head of O2 SME marketing, said: “Developments in technology and mobile communications are enabling businesses to be flexible and respond very quickly to changes in the market place. Getting rid of the office relieves many small businesses of a major overhead very quickly and shows a rapid response to current economic pressures.”

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