NEW: Jane Shelton

For most home-based business owners it is no longer possible to divide the world into three neat domains – home, work and play.

Home, work, play – and blurring boundaries

Jane Shelton

I’m writing this week’s blog from sunny Queensland and even while boating on the Noosa River (still recovering from the recent floods) people are talking to me about their experiences and enjoyment of their home business life. 

I appreciate the depth of feeling of people who say the blog speaks to their experience. Cathy, a real estate agent on the Sunshine Coast, tells me that she can work anywhere there’s an internet connection, and Sandra runs a specialist health and legal transcription service from her home. They both choose to live where they love and enjoy life, and prefer to work from home.

It’s good to be in Queensland to see how fast things are growing. In the last 10 years, Queensland has grown by more than 150,000 home businesses, to now have more than 550,000, while in the same time in South Australia there has been a net decline of more than 40,000 home businesses.

Other states have been following the growth trend – NSW increased by 125,000, Victoria by 50,000, WA 12,000 and Tasmania 16,000.

Home business really does have a high rate of growth – Tassie has been a little growth engine for home business, with just less than a 30% increase in home business compared with about 7% in Victoria.

There are very real differences in the rate of people taking up home business. In Queensland the industries that are expanding most are agriculture, construction, finance, property and business services. But some industries in Queensland have been declining – public administration, defence and community services.

In SA the growth industries have been community services and recreational and personal services, which makes sense with the ageing population.

Australia is changing rapidly, and you can see it in home-based business. More people are making the choice to be in home business. Home-based business people are double the average for Australia in the “AB” category of socio-economic status (the highest categories).

Illustrating that home business people are more likely to be opportunity based entrepreneurs with a nest egg to kick start the venture rather than “necessity” entrepreneurs or wage slaves.

When I tell people that I write a blog on home business, some complain loudly about how much they would miss their stimulating office environment.

We all live in an ever-changing world, with increasingly rich textured lifestyles. We combine roles and responsibilities as parents, executives, consultants, students, careers, volunteers, friends, personal and business partners. For most of us it is no longer possible to divide the world into three neat domains – home, work and play.


Dr Jane Shelton not only runs a business from home but is doing business research into people working from home. She is managing director of Marshall Place Associates, Melbourne’s independent think tank, and CEO (honourary) for ‘Life. Be in it.’ International. Shelton has a Doctorate in Business Administration at the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) at Swinburne University of Technology after a Master of Arts in Public Policy at Melbourne University and a Bachelor of Business in banking and finance at Monash University.

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