The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many companies, but small businesses have suffered more than others. According to numerous research findings, in some countries, up to 90% of small companies have experienced a negative impact from the pandemic, such as drops in production, sales and revenues, and even complete closures. In companies with a dozen or fewer people, the way employees get through these challenges can very much impact the state of the entire business. Therefore, it is important for leaders to monitor how employees feel and supervise the consequences that this can have on their business.
Kaspersky’s latest survey1 has revealed that there is a gap in support expectations as seen in social aid and additional benefits, such as covering Internet or phone bills. 51% of small company employees in South Africa would like more support with this, in comparison to 54% among those working in medium-sized businesses2. As we can see from the research, people are missing personal communications a lot: thus, 24% of employees from smaller businesses and 26% of those working in mid-sized companies wish they had more personal touch points with colleagues when working remotely. Technical support, like helping to provide the right equipment and IT tools, is another important issue which is in demand for employees both – working in small and medium-sized companies (44% and 45%, respectively, across the META region).
Emotional or psychological support is needed to almost the same extent for all businesses: 30% across small businesses and 23% across bigger ones locally. The impact of COVID-19 has not only affected people’s work and daily lives but has also caused anxiety for their own health and that of their loved ones, as well as overall optimism for the future. So, mental health support may be significant for any employee.
“People who have experience working in small businesses may feel more self-sufficient in the new working reality and this has helped their organisation to concentrate all of their resources on survival. However, to maintain employee productivity and moral, it is still important to make sure that staff have all that they need for work. When it comes to their technology set up, employees need help to use IT securely even if working on personal laptops and managing access to all web services alone,” comments Ivan Salikhov, Product Manager, SMB Products at Kaspersky.
To facilitate remote working conditions for employees, the following actions are recommended:
Courtesy: Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997.
¹Kaspersky commissioned independent research firm Censuswide to conduct a survey of 8,076 employees of small-to-medium businesses (10 – 250 employees) in Brazil, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, UAE, the UK, and the USA in October 2020.
²This small and medium sized business (SMB) segment includes companies with 50 – 100 and 101 – 250 employees