3 in 5 Small or Midsize Businesses Have Allowed Remote Work Amid Pandemic

3 in 5 Small or Midsize Businesses Have Allowed Remote Work Amid Pandemic

About 2 in 3 think work-from-home options will remain in the months ahead
On a video call while working from home

With a possible end to the coronavirus pandemic almost in sight, some organizations are implementing hybrid work, where companies accommodate work-from-home employees, office employees or those who want to do both.

The 2021 State of Hybrid Work report from meetings and cloud communications firm RingCentral found that small and medium businesses with 100 or fewer employees have had success transitioning to remote work during the pandemic.

COVID-19 changing the face of work for good

Even though most of these businesses had employees mostly or completely in the office before the pandemic, the RingCentral report showed that 3 in 5 businesses now offer at least partial remote work.

In fact, 67% of respondents don’t see in-office work making a five-day-a-week comeback after the pandemic.

That aligns with a recent survey from Randstad Sourceright that found 80% of business leaders would consider permanent work-from-home options for their employees as a way to attract new talent. Separately, a recent LiveCareer survey revealed that 62% of remote workers would prioritize employers that offered this style of work.

Both employers and employees are enjoying benefits of remote work

The RingCentral report also showed that 66% of respondents see remote work in a positive light.

About 3 in 5 of these small and midsize businesses reported consistent productivity levels the past few months, despite drastic changes in the workplace environment, additional distractions and other factors that have affected those working from home. Meanwhile, only 1 in 4 reported a dip in employee productivity.

Other benefits that business owners cited included lower costs and increased flexibility, while employees enjoy the additional time they can now spend with their loved ones.

Not all companies can offer remote work to all their employees, and not everyone may want to work from home. However, those who can and do can see tremendous benefits from doing so.

Methodology: Between Oct. 8-19, 2020, Bredin and Belmont, Calif.-based RingCentral conducted an online survey of 1,000 individual contributors or those with principal positions in American businesses with one to 100 employees.

Among the participants:

  • 61% represented small businesses that were fully open
  • 34% represented those open on a limited basis
  • 5% represented those that were closed but planning to reopen

More than 3 in 10 respondents (32%) represented companies offering professional services, followed by:

  • Retail and wholesale (27%)
  • Personal services and training (22%)
  • Manufacturing (19%)

Survey respondents fell into the following age group breakdown:

  • 18 to 23 years old: 1%
  • 24 to 39 years old: 10%
  • 40 to 55 years old: 18%
  • 56 to 74 years old: 62%
  • 75+ years old: 9%

Feli Oliveros is a finance and business writer with experience covering personal finance, small business finance, and payment processing. In 2015 she graduated from UCLA, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and minored in Anthropology.