In early July, the Netherlands passed the world’s first law making working from home a legal right. We’re not quite there yet in North America, but after a few years of giving remote work a try during the pandemic, many small businesses have found it has many advantages.
As SMBs weather inflation and prepare for a potential recession, proprietors may want to consider allowing some, or all employees, to work remotely. Especially, if you have a cloud-based voice and texting technology to keep staff and customers connected.
Here are three reasons remote work may make sense for SMBs in today’s tricky economy:
1. You can recruit from anywhere
Many small businesses continue to face persistent staff shortages. A recent jobs report by the National Federation of Independent Businesses found that 51% of business owners had job openings they could not fill in the current period, 23% reported labor quality as their top business problem and 12% said labor costs are their top business problem.
When you have a virtual office setup, with employees able to interact with clients and colleagues from any computer or mobile device, you can cast your hiring net much wider. This lets you look for the best person to match the job description, rather than settling for the not-quite-right individual who happens to respond to a job listing. If you’re in a small town, you can access larger labor markets in major cities across the country, and those located in expensive cities can recruit in parts of the country with lower labor costs.
You may also get more applicants as you transition jobs from in-person to remote. In a survey of 1,700 workers by the Society for Human Resources Management, nearly half of workers (48%) said they will “definitely,” pursue remote work opportunities for their next job.
2. You can reduce your office space
According to NerdWallet, office space runs anywhere from $100 to $1,000 per month per employee – depending on the market in your area and a range of other factors. This means that eliminating or downsizing your office or storefront could save you a significant sum.
Sure, you may have to maintain some staff in a brick-and-mortar location, depending on your line of business. But your service agents, sales representatives, financial staff and others can interact with customers and colleagues by virtual voice and text messaging, simply by logging into the service provider’s app.
Cloudli TalkNText lets you share a common business number when you need backup coverage on the business line. All voice messages and texts get captured in a common screen view on the app, so you can easily track who said what and when, and respond with the most current information.
3. You can improve employee satisfaction and retention
The SHRM survey found that employees value the perceived benefits of remote work, and those who work from home report higher levels of positive feelings toward their employers. This data suggests you may have a happier labor force and less employee turnover if you offer a remote-work option.
A virtual voice and texting solution is a no-brainer for small businesses. It gives employees the ability to interact with clients and colleagues from wherever they live and work, simply by logging into the app. With Cloudli TalkNText, users can see call records, voicemail transcripts and customer texts on a common screen so everyone stays in the loop. You can also set up an IVR/Auto Attendant, which helps customers get to the right person to take their call, and Call Screener, an AI-powered feature that helps you know who is calling and why — so no one wastes time on spam or nuisance calls.
Working from home has never been easier or more beneficial for your business. Take advantage of Cloudli TalkNText’s free 7-day trial and try it for yourself.