According to the Office of National Statistics, neary 8.7 million of the UK’s workforce are currently working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While for the time being this may cause issues for SMEs, there is still a chance that they come out the other side with even more opportunities.
The “largest work-from-home experiment” might prove to be most viable for SMEs, which could lead to offices to become digitized and reduce the costs of a physical space.
Despite the UK government issuing a £330 billion support package for businesses that would allow them to keep employees and continue operations under the necessary capacities in the form of loans, SMEs are concerned about the loan repayments.
Physical offices are undoubtedly more expensive due to overhead costs of computers, a desk, chairs and rental fees. These costs can be crippling for smaller businesses, so once things return to normal operations, why should companies resume paying more for services when work can be done from home?
Outside of concerns over financials, a common misconception of remote working is that workers are less productive and more distracted. On the contrary, research has found that workers are actually more productive from home due to being able to make their own schedules, lack of distractions from colleagues, and having a better well-being overall.