An Amazing Time to be Self-Employed
There is no doubt we are living through a revolutionary technological time that is changing the way people work. More and more, freelance business people are becoming untethered—untethered to their office desktop and desktop computer, untethered to the office, untethered even to the old 9 to 5 hours.
That is great, in many ways.
On one hand, owners and employees are increasingly working where they want, how they want, and when they want, which goes for small business owners and independent contractors alike. The trick is to learn how to use this technology smartly, so that you control it and it doesn't control you.
Recent surveys indicate just how much the workplace is changing…
Recent surveys indicate just how much the workplace is changing and how significantly smartphones are changing the way we do business. A survey by the firm RingCentral indicated that 56% of those surveyed said that forgetting their smartphone at home was worse than forgetting their wallet. Other results included:
- Although only 21% said they checked their phone for business once or twice a day, 65% said they check it multiple times a day. In fact, more than half surveyed said they were “addicted” to their smartphones.
- Only 21% said the best thing about their phone was never missing an important call, whereas 49% said it was the ability to e-mail anytime, anywhere.
- A full 60% said they are using their phone for business more in the last 12 months alone (15% said they used it 7 % more)
Being able to work when and how you want brings with it of course incredible freedom. Most of us like that, except when we don’t. Finding yourself checking business emails while on the beach in Hawaii is definitely not what you want to do (unless you really, really have to. then it's great, right?). But being able to check them while stranded at the airport is. It’s a tradeoff.
If there is a downside to this computer revolution, it is that the line between our work and personal lives grows ever fuzzier. So, while the Internet revolution is great in so many ways, the savvy small business owner or freelancer who manages a team of contract employees will make sure that his or her technology serves the business, and not the other way around.
What's been your experience with the mobile office? Do you feel more comfortable conducting meetings in the casual environment of a coffee shop? Weigh in now at The Self-Employed Forums.