Keep small business hiring strong with flexible work options

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Small business hiring continues to be strong. From May to June, small businesses employment increased by 120,000, according to the June Small Business Report from payroll processing firm ADP. That figure represents more than half of the 223,000 jobs added to the economy overall during the month.

Still even with hiring strong, small businesses continue to struggle to find qualified staff, say 41 percent (two out of five) small business owners surveyed by Bank of America in its  Spring 2015 Small Business Owner Report.  

Implement flexible work strategy to attract and retain employees

A Plantronics survey of small business owners indicated that many – 64 percent – have found that offering flexible, remote and mobile work options is changing the playing field when it comes to hiring and retaining talent. Flexible work options are on the rise globally and in particular millennials expect it and highly value it as a benefit. Providing choice for your small business team may mean making changes in your operations to enable employees to work whenever, wherever and however it suits. Among those changes, you’ll want to:

Adjust work spaces: With flexible work arrangements, your small business employees may come into the office, work from home or divide their time between the two.  As such, flexible work may require that you change your office work space to accommodate employee changing work routines. At Plantronics headquarters our Smarter Working environment provides unassigned desks for employees who come into the office just a few days – or even less – a week. In the office, employees also can take advantage of conference rooms when they need to hold a formal meeting or small, casual areas with several chairs set up around a table with a white board for a more informal group meeting.

Provide mobile devices and apps: You’ll want to provide your team with the tools they prefer to use to work anywhere – smartphones, laptops and tablets as well as desk top computers – or they may opt to use their own. Regarding the use of personal mobile devices, be sure to have a company Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy to protect your company against cyberattacks and data loss.

In addition to mobile devices, small business owners are supporting anywhere, anytime work with mobile apps that provide access to real-time information and data so your team can more readily respond to an issue. Mobile apps enable rich data capture — text, numbers, photos, signatures — in real time. In turn, information gathered on mobile devices by remote workers can be automatically synced to the office for others to use when necessary.

Enable mobile collaboration: While mobile devices and apps provide the flexibility to work anywhere, your employees still will need the collaboration technologies to connect with other team members to work together wherever they are. Cloud computing is one of the latest technologies to support mobile collaboration. With your information stored in the cloud, your team can access documents wherever they are just as if they were in the office. Because projects are stored in one accessible remote location, anyone who is working on the project can access it whenever they need and make edits or updates, which appear in real time so they are readily available to everyone else working on the project.  Also a team member can invite others who may not even be on the same project to look at the project and offer input.

Collaboration and productivity also get a boost from cloud-based web and video conferencing. There also are cloud-based interactive whiteboards for brainstorming, which enable everyone who participates in the session to see and use.

Learn more about implementing flexible work arrangements to boost your hiring:

Workplace Flexibility Attracts and Retains Top Talent

How to Move Your Business to the Cloud