fbpx

The NEW Small Business Workforce

The last two years have completely upended the way companies of all sizes do business. The biggest change that is taking place is the new workforce and what it looks like. Whether your small business is going with a hybrid model or a full virtual workforce, there are a whole new set of obstacles to the way you manage your employees.

But, because smaller businesses can adapt quicker, they can pivot into the changes needed to stay in business.

The workforce in a small business also has the flexibility to change as needed. Remote work, or a hybrid of part remote and part in-office, will be the norm for most.

What does this mean for the future of the workforce in small businesses?

The new way of working

Many small, medium and large businesses were already embracing some form of remote work before the pandemic. Workers who already worked remotely if they were ill, traveling, or otherwise outside the office had advantages. Suddenly, companies of all sizes had to get up to speed with a remote workforce or completely shut down. IT people and departments shifted into high gear to make remote work possible and then workable.

Nearly everyone was now using Zoom, Slack, and other collaboration tools daily, both for work and personal use. As employees began to hunker down at home, companies started the learning curve of a virtual workforce. The unknown future made virtual working necessary immediately.

Two years on, most workers employed in small businesses prefer to continue working from home at least part of the time. Many employees appreciated the time not spent in traffic or long meetings. Others found flexibility in their schedule that they didn’t have before.

Employees now expect remote work to be part of their jobs, even if it’s one or two days a week. For small businesses, nearly everyone is perhaps just a phone or Zoom call away. One prediction sees “hybrid working” as a permanent part of the overall workforce, and small businesses are no different.

Collaboration

Remote work required teams to be able to work together but separately. Small businesses became particularly adept at remote working and still take care of their customers.

Technology plays a big part in enabling the virtual workforce. A team that works well from wherever will be the most successful.

The flip side of this technology is that companies can look for talent outside of their backyards. Freelancers are increasingly part of the picture for businesses of all sizes, and their location is no longer an issue. Small businesses can find the people they need cost-effectively and build a more diverse team.

Technology plays a big part in enabling the virtual workforce. A team that works well from wherever will be the most successful.

Additionally, the introduction of the new 5G network offers small and medium-sized businesses more affordable and reliable connectivity than standard broadband services.

The way back

As the business world reopens, many wonder what it will be like when employees report back to the office. Will there be an “office?”

Many larger companies are re-thinking their office real estate. It’s a significant expense of any business after payroll.

If a percentage of the workforce is remote, is a large headquarters necessary? Big companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter have begun transitioning their larger single office space into multiple smaller locations in suburban areas. The reason: many employees moved away from the high-rent cities into more affordable housing elsewhere to work remotely during the pandemic.

Small businesses may decide to reduce their “office space” footprint. Working virtually with a diversified and remote workforce without a “home office” can reduce operating costs for a small business. That may not be ideal for those businesses that need face-to-face meetings with clients and customers. For any in-person meetings, rented office spaces may be the solution.

Many small businesses are a lean, tight-knit group that operates best with face-to-face interactions. For many, the team must meet in person to get things done. A small business that wants to stay flexible and partly remote may rent a coworking space.

Small businesses that own their property or keep their lease can repurpose any under-used office space into something else. One example is a small coworking space for another small business or startup.

Who’s in the office?

With remote and hybrid work as the future of the workforce, many small business owners will ask the question, “who’s in the office today?”  The answer may depend on not only the work schedule but the type of person.

Many people miss the camaraderie that working in the office provides. Chances are those who will be in the office most often are the workers who like collaboration. People who thrive on social interaction and those for whom working from home was a burden will also be happy to return.

Younger workers with tech-savvy may not have had problems going remote but have missed opportunities to connect with everyone while at home.

Not everyone enjoyed long-term remote work, especially those employees in smaller or crowded homes. They are also ready to get back to a more structured workday and be in the office. Working parents who found themselves juggling school, work, and other responsibilities at once are also ready to re-set those boundaries.

Having a VoIP-hosted phone system can make communications easy for your customers and employees. Press8 Telecom can design a system for your small business with a wide range of features that let your employees work at their desks, at home, or anywhere they go.

Features like call recording, call reporting, call queues, and unlimited conference bridges can take your company virtual quickly and easily. Contact Press 8 Telecom today to find out more about how we can help your company transition to remote working.

 

Back To