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Nearly half of UK SMEs switched to remote working within a week

Written by  May 06, 2020

The leading B2B software search website Capterra, has revealed the results of a study analysing how small and medium-sized businesses in the UK are adapting to new requirements due to COVID-19.

remote working software adoption uk 1

The findings showed:

  • 43% of SMEs adopted a new process quickly, installing new software to facilitate remote working within just a week after the lockdown, and 96% of employees have received guidelines on different aspects of working from home.
  • Teleworking Attitudes Shifted: More than half of employees (52%) said they believe their company could function at full potential with permanent remote working flexibility.
  •  Transformational Leadership: Most businesses have provided remote working guidelines to employees, but communication is by far the biggest challenge.

While 43 percent of small and medium-sized companies had to buy or install new tools for remote work, a further 26 percent are still planning to do so in the near future. 70 percent of respondents who had to work with new software reported that the new software was easy or very easy to learn.

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Based on this survey, 60 percent of SME employees reported they previously worked exclusively from the office and this the first time they were asked to work remotely was in response to COVID-19.

Most of the respondents have received guidelines from their employers regarding working hours, team meetings, communication, and remote working tools. Dress code has been the least addressed aspect. The opportunity to dress casually for work has been listed by the employees as one of the main benefits of remote work.

The sentiment of SME employees is largely positive as only 8 percent said they dislike working remotely. Furthermore, almost 9 in 10 employees would like to continue this arrangement after the lockdown either fully (32 percent) or on some days (55 percent).

Matt Mullarkey-Toner, Sr. editor at Capterra comments:

“Although the majority of UK businesses weren’t prepared for the current work requirements, they managed to adapt very quickly. It can be seen that businesses didn’t have a big problem adapting their team communication and collaboration which is in big part due to the ease of use and affordability of the current software solutions available.

Considering the employees’ satisfaction with the current remote work arrangement and businesses’ fast adaptation to provide services virtually, we can expect this major shift to be partially preserved even after the current lockdown.”


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Karen Turner

A very experienced freelance IT journalist who now prefers to work from home and has such a broad range of knowledge accrued over the years, we would not cope without her influence and ideas.

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