5 Tips for SMEs to manage change in the workplace

Embrace new ways of working to sustain a productive workforce.

Tip 1: Embrace Hybrid Working

Flexible and hybrid working, where employees spend some or all their time working away from the office, looks set to be a permanent feature for well over a third (39%) of businesses.

Choosing the right technology will have a huge impact on making a success of hybrid working. If you’re hesitant about investing in lots of new tech, then setting it all up, consider a hassle-free managed service where all your communication, productivity and connectivity is taken care of for one simple monthly fee.

Tip 2: Meet Gen Z Employee Expectations

As Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2010) enters the workforce, recruiting the best talent will increasingly mean accommodating Gen Z’s two biggest priorities: freedom to work how and where suits them best, and opportunities to work with the latest technology and innovations.

Once again, a managed IT service offers your business an easy way to access the latest laptops, handsets and software. Getting up and running is easy. And it’s an affordable way to empower both new and existing employees with appealing, state-of-the-art tools that are tailor-made for remote and hybrid working.

Tip 3: Tackle Working from Home Productivity Concerns

When employers say they are concerned about the effect of home working on productivity, they could be talking about anything from the impact of poor domestic broadband on output, to concerns their people aren’t actually working.

There are plenty of ways to measure people’s productivity. Many businesses prefer regular informal video-calls with line managers to check on progress. Alternatively, it’s easy to include superfast home broadband as part of your people’s IT package. Not only will this eliminate technical barriers to home workers’ productivity, but it also lets you monitor individual activity levels.

The expert view: productivity and hybrid working

“Today, technology absolutely needn’t be a barrier to effective hybrid working. Cloud collaboration and productivity apps like Microsoft 365, superfast broadband in the office and at home, and 5G anywhere and everywhere, mean people can achieve their full potential wherever they want, on any device.” - Head of Small and Medium Business at Vodafone Business.

Tip 4: Reinforce a Positive Workplace Culture

27% of businesses are concerned about retaining company culture in a world of remote working, especially in areas like developing and maintaining strong working relationships, sharing knowledge and experience, and fostering collaboration. Gen Zs in particular place a high value on employers who demonstrate a strong purpose-based agenda as part of their workplace culture.

As well as offering voice, video, messaging and resource-sharing tools that help people feel connected wherever they work, you can opt for a technology service that includes capabilities designed to make your people feel really valued. These range from desk and room booking tools that take the hassle out of coming into the office, to slick and intuitive apps for onboarding, training, expenses, annual leave and much, much more. Creating a strong sense of connection and community among your people will help you embed your corporate purpose into the fabric of your business.

Tip 5: Focus on employee welfare

More and more businesses recognise their role in supporting their people’s mental and physical health, and appreciate that new workforce dynamics (for example people spending long periods working in isolation) can have a big impact on employee wellbeing. 80% of businesses say they plan to promote employee wellness and mental health, with 28% of businesses already offering wellness advice, emotional support, and health benefits.

If the idea of sourcing and procuring these services feels like a strain on your resources, you can now include a choice of welfare and wellbeing services alongside IT and comms in the same package. This is a great way for SMEs to rival their enterprise competitors in attracting, caring for and retaining the best talent.

The expert view: celebrating SMEs

“After a very challenging couple of years, SMEs can look forward with confidence. At Vodafone, we admire and respect the wonderful diversity and achievements of small and growing businesses. And we’re inspired to support their success by providing industry-leading services and solutions packaged in the most convenient and affordable way.” - Head of Small and Medium Business at Vodafone Business.

Vodafone Pulse Connect helps SMEs transform the way they work with best-in-class communication, IT and business solutions that support new ways of working, scale with your business, and reward your achievements.

Learn more at Vodafone Pulse Connect.

All statistics are from Vodafone's ‘Fit for the future’ report.

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