SMBs need to adopt technology that bolsters flexibility

Even though absence could be costing SMBs up to £25,000 per annum, firms express wish for staff to work flexibly

A survey from business communications software, systems and services provider Avaya has revealed that absence could be costing Britain ’s small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) up to £25,000 per annum.

The survey found that a fifth of UK businesses with 20-80 employees estimate they lose £25,000 or more a year through employee absenteeism; approximately one-third put the figure somewhere between £10-25,000.

Yet despite this  and a recognition that the issue that concerns SMBs most is ensuring productivity of offsite workers, more than 80% of the survey indicated that they would like to allow employees to work from home one day a week.

Almost three-quarters of respondents admitted they were predominantly concerned with ensuring that out-of-office workers were as productive as in-office workers and just 5% revealed that  technology costs was the reason they had not initiated flexible working.

Commented Nick Roullier, country manager, Avaya , UK ,  “In a small business, when one worker is out, it can impact the entire company,” added Roullier. “By deploying technology such as Unified Communications (UC), which brings the communications environment of the office to any location, on any device, small businesses can leverage more flexible styles of working that blend with an employee's home life. Ultimately, flexible technology can help small firms retain those employees, maximise their productivity and avoid missed business opportunities.

“It is a popular misconception that Unified Communications is for big business only. In reality, if you look at a typical busy SMB where employees are performing multiple job functions, UC can deliver concrete business advantages that are even more meaningful to a small business – improved productivity and increased ability to compete with bigger brands.”  


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