Spearhead The SMB Market By Empowering Your Employees and Work Space

Author: Umeisha

Given the rapid pace of globalization and technology, times have changed drastically. Economies have now shifted from labour-based to knowledge-based or even service-based. Modern workers are now expected to collaborate wherever they may be. Inevitably, these changes have made an impact on the skills executives and businesses need to be successful, as well as the design of the work space to complement these skills.

However, in this context, SMBs are lagging behind, particularly with employees feeling that their needs have been unmet. A recent Microsoft online survey surveyed 2,600 SMB employees across 13 countries in Asia and found that only 41 out of every 100 employees felt their employers are enabling them to be productive, collaborative and innovative, whilst ensuring personal wellbeing in the changing world of work.

On the other hand, in an online poll Microsoft conducted with 702 SMB business owners and decision makers in six markets in Asia, 73 out of every 100 respondents felt that they were empowered for the New World of Work (which Microsoft describes as “a new era of work, characterised by increasing globalisation, technology proliferation and a connected workforce”). This clearly shows a huge gap between how employees and employers perceive on how they are being equipped today.

Hence, how can SMBs bridge this gap which would allow it to stand out from its competitors in this market?

Firstly, it’s imperative for the employers to build a workplace culture which values a flexible working environment. This is of paramount importance, given that employees in SMB often have to wear multiple hats at the same time. In the same survey by Microsoft, more than half of the respondents highlighted that the ability to work from anywhere would most benefit their organization. In fact, the same study showed that 74% (almost three-quarter!) are already spending more than 20% of their time working outside offices. This is definitely an area which SMBs should consider in order to encourage greater employee collaboration and flexibility.

Apart from inculcating such culture, employers should also adopt an office with a collaborative and dynamic workplace design. Eliminating fixed desks can lead to greater productivity and collaboration amongst employees while also providing ownership to one’s work.

Lastly, to facilitate this journey, a trusted and secure technology is definitely important. An example would be Microsoft’s Office 365, an enterprise-grade tool which can enable remote working and enhance productivity and collaboration in an organization.

It can definitely seem intimidating to revamp and make huge changes to the organization, especially for SMBs which have limited resources. However, to be a market leader, one has to be bold. Start small, make important changes and then slowly create new policies in cumulative steps. After all, it is the SMBs who are receptive to change that stand to benefit the most.