smb-tech-trendsAs if finding great employees wasn’t enough of a problem for small business owners, keeping them poses yet another HR challenge.  Plantronics Workplace Flexibility Survey of 270 small business owners conducted last year by the Corporate Executive Board found that 44 percent say that finding and retaining talent is the most difficult aspect of HR/labor management.

So how are small business owners resolving the challenge to find good employees?  The solution is to offer flexible, mobile and remote work options, say 64 percent of survey participants. Workers with choices of when and where to work are 12 percent more satisfied with their jobs.

Not only are remote workers more satisfied with their jobs, they also don’t mind if they have to put in longer hours. In another recent survey, small business employees who worked remotely reported longer work weeks than their counterparts who did not. Still working longer didn’t dampen their satisfaction for work. In fact, 75 percent of these remote workers said their ability to get the job done without coming into the office improved the much sought after work/life balance.

Provide choice

To provide your employees with the flexible work environment they want, consider the following three-pronged approach:

  • Create a variety of spaces in the offices. Provide some that enable workers to work in quiet without distractions and others that are designed for team members to meet and collaborate.
  • Provide tools for working anywhere. These include mobile devices – smartphones, tablets and laptops – along with cloud computing and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems and video conferencing.
  • Update your company policy to indicate how work spaces and technology tools are to be used.

Here are more results from our Workplace Flexibility Survey: