The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a massive shift to the world in several ways. It has given rise to remote working trends, e-commerce, and automation among companies across the world. On the other hand, a significant disruption in the labor market was seen during 2020. Millions of employees lost their jobs due to the closure of businesses. Many professionals were required to work from their offices, hospitals, warehouses, trucks, and grocery stores while following the COVID-19 protocols to control the spread of the virus. Here’s an overview of the impact of the post-pandemic trends on small businesses:
Employee Turnover Rate
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, employees were more likely to switch jobs before the COVID-19 pandemic. With up to 7.3 million new job offers by the end of 2019, millions of people wanted to switch jobs instead of staying at the same job with a stagnant wage.
However, the number of employees staying at their current jobs has increased since the pandemic. The employees that were able to avoid layoffs did not quit their jobs. Many small business employees were reluctant to leave their jobs after the pandemic due to the lack of employment in the U.S. On the other hand, some employees working in small businesses planned to switch to another job by the end of the pandemic.
Small businesses have successfully retained their employees despite the financial crisis due to the pandemic. Companies have started invested in learning & development (L&D) for their new employees in order to enhance overall productivity. Similarly, small businesses have started to focus on digitization for their employees’ long-term growth and success. The digital transformation in HR has resulted in massive benefits for small sized companies while decreasing their turnover rate.
Benefits of Work From Home
According to Capterra Hill in the New Era Survey 2021, only 7% of small business employees worked from home in the United States before the pandemic. However, small businesses facilitated about 37% of their employees with the opportunity to work from home after the pandemic. As a result, about 86% of employees preferred the idea of working from home during the pandemic, irrespective of their age groups and living situations.
Several small businesses have implemented work-from-home policies during the pandemic. In addition, new technology stacks have been launched for effective remote working.
Burnout among Employees
Employees have started to feel burnout due to excessive workload and tight deadlines of projects. It has resulted in lower engagement and productivity among the employees. About 77% of small business employees are experiencing increased stress levels due to working from home. On the other hand, 6% of the employees said their work hours have increased significantly as compared to working at their workplace. It has affected their mental health and well-being while struggling in silence since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Widening Skills Gap
The gap between the skills of employees and the skills required by the businesses had widened since the start of the pandemic. About 83% of recruiters in small businesses faced difficulty in hiring the right employees for their companies. It is observed that 49% of the small businesses claimed that their employees had not developed any new work skills during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following skills were developed by the employees working IN small businesses.
- Web and application development
- Sales skills
- Basic computer and software skills
- Communication and presentation skills
On the other hand, small businesses required the following skills to sustain their growth.
- Network management
- Social media marketing
- Web and application development
- Project management
- Technological Advancement
The smooth transition of remote work since the pandemic was possible due to the advancement in technology. With new apps and systems taking over the digital world, communication among business colleagues has become easier. Moreover, business owners find it convenient to schedule business meetings with their clients on online platforms, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. It has resulted in better team management among small businesses, leading to improved productivity and efficiency among employees.
The new normal has taught several valuable lessons to small business owners and young professionals. It has prepared the workforce to stay consistent despite the potential obstacles that may occur within the next five years.