As the world is disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis, businesses have had to adapt quickly to a flexible model, delivering opportunities for small businesses and their employees.
The pandemic has proved challenging for small business owners. Yet those who are agile have discovered green shoot opportunities alongside the challenges, as adopting an online-all-the-time option becomes the norm for many.
Bethany Nyberg, director commercial sales DocuSign, says savvy business owners are already switching modes to up the ante on remote work and flexible work options. Small businesses are also shoring up their online efforts to ensure they can stay connected with customers and make sales.
“I think in a way this corona COVID crisis has been a great equaliser,” says Nyberg. “It’s forced this work from home revolution. Businesses have been forced to adapt and employees have had to learn the tech to work from home.”
Nyberg suggests this enforced remote work experiment has allowed businesses to see the possibilities that can come from pursuing a flexible work model.
“There is no reason now an employee in regional Australia can’t work from home for a company in a 9-5 city role. The barriers to employment have been removed. The other demographic that I think will be impacted is women. With the tech and working at home – could a mum who does the school run at three now still do a full day’s output, with this new work from home revolution? I think so,” says Nyberg.
As businesses pivot and take advantage of the great equalising concepts that are occurring due to remote work, it’s also vital that they embrace the digital tech that can assist them to make the change.
Thanks to SaaS (software as a service), the expenditure to get on board the flexible work train is within the reach of most. You no longer have to outlay massive amounts of capital to be able to use the latest digital solutions.
This is great news for small business owners since the ABS reports that small businesses that embrace digital tech and cloud solutions are twice as profitable as their analogue counterparts. But how do you choose what digital solutions to opt for when there are so many to choose from? Nyberg suggests trialling different options and then settle on what works for your business.
“For communication, pick one and go with it – at DocuSign we use slack, we use Zoom. For productivity, I’d say get rid of paper and you’ll be doing better for the environment and you also unlock the productivity in your workflow,’ says Nyberg.
The coronavirus has accelerated the work from home phenomenon – and it’s undoubtedly here to stay.
“Much to the chagrin of some older managers,” says Damien Gooden, an HR specialist speaking during a recent KBB webcast. “Those managers are going to have to come to terms with the new normal. There is going to be a real trust factor with that and there will be a lot of learnings on both sides. That flexibility is just too powerful. I think some of those businesses that before would say ‘no-no, you can’t work from home’ have been forced to adapt. The benefits to both business and employees is too valuable.”
This content is brought to you in partnership with DocuSign. If you’d like to find out more about how your business can adapt to the changing face of work in these challenging times sign up for our webcast series Not Business as Usual.
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