In the two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began, small and medium businesses (SMBs) have been faced with change, challenges, and opportunities. These shifts have dramatically impacted the SMB workplace and workforce, where the power dynamic has tipped from employers to employees.
SMB Group’s SMB Directions for the Future of Work survey study examines this topic in detail. In November 2021, we surveyed 736 decision-makers and influencers in SMB (1-1,000 employees) and mid-market (1,000-2,500 employees) organizations to understand how these businesses are reshaping workplace and workforce practices to meet these challenges, and how technology factors into their plans.
In our new, free eBook, sponsored by Acumatica, Dell Technologies, and Workday, we share key highlights from the study about how key SMB business, technology, workplace, staffing, human resources, and collaboration trends are unfolding. Some of these include:
- SMB optimism has been rising since the pandemic struck, but is tempered by concerns about macro trends. In April 2020, only 19% of companies we surveyed indicated that they expected revenues to rise in the next 12 months. In November 2021, when we fielded this survey, 61% said that they were forecasting revenues increases. However, a majority are very or somewhat concerned that factors which are largely out of their control–such as rising inflation, supply chain interruptions, COVID-19 and other issues could negatively impact their businesses in the coming year.
- SMBs have a higher percentage of employees working remotely or working in a hybrid situation than employees working only at a company location. The overwhelming majority also said that remote work has had a positive or neutral effect on retention and productivity, and roughly 40% said that they are planning to increase remote and hybrid work options in the next year.
- Two thirds of SMBs said they plan to hire internal employees in the next twelve months, and almost half plan to hire external contractors. Among those with plans to hire, about two thirds also said they have more job openings than usual. Somewhat surprisingly, given the current talent crunch, three-quarters said that they were confident that they would meet their hiring goals.
- Over half of SMBs said that they have a strategy to support a more flexible workplace. Many said they have recently begun, or plan to offer employees options for more flexible hours, better opportunities for career advancement, and new benefits to improve employee recruitment and retention.
- The link between technology investments and business outcomes continues to become increasingly evident. SMBs that said they had accelerated technology adoption and investments due to the COVID-19 pandemic were about 1.6 times more likely to anticipate increased revenues in their next fiscal year than those that decelerated or made no changes.
These are just a few of the findings and insights from this study. Click here to read the full eBook.
SMB Group provides technology vendors with complete research results, advisory, and content services to help drive successful strategies to engage with SMBs. If you’d like to learn more about these services, and how we can help support your path forward, please contact Lisa Lincoln, Director of Client Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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