For years we have heard about how employee work environments and positive experiences on the job can translate to better customer experiences and business success. This is still absolutely true, even today as businesses find their workforces want to remain virtual and work a more flexible schedule than just a few years ago.
The these new demands create a set of challenges for businesses. As they look to grow their operations in competitive environments, they must balance that against employee expectations.
Across industries, companies are offering hybrid options for employees and, in the SMB space, particularly, this type of work environment is delivering significant benefits. From a boost to the bottom line to improved customer retention rates, hybrid and remote options are translating into business success.
A new report from cloud communications and collaboration solutions provider Intermedia confirms that SMBs offering fully remote work or hybrid environments are seeing their customer retention rates also rise.
"Many business owners and decision makers who were once skeptical about productive work happening from wherever are now realizing the real benefits that offering workplace flexibility affords, including a marked increase in customer retention,” said Scott Anderson, Intermedia CMO.
Why is this happening? For one thing, employees who are happier with their work conditions tend to increase their availability, productivity, and focus when it comes to managing job-related tasks. In fact, most employees leaving jobs today have said a main reason they have chosen to part with a company is because of the lack of flexibility with remote or hybrid options for work.
More than two-thirds (69 percent) of SMB leaders and owners think offering remote and hybrid work has led to significant improvements in job satisfaction and increases in productivity of their workers. In other words, not only are they productive, they are actually more productive when given the option to work remotely.
Technology is part of the success drivers. To ensure remote workers continue to have access to vital tools and technologies needed to get the job done, cloud and hosted solutions are rising in popularity.
“Cloud communications solutions are built to enable customer care and employee collaboration from wherever work happens, be it the office, remote, or a hybrid of the two,” said Anderson. “Offering flexibility in how and where work happens should no longer be seen as a luxury, but instead as a strategy that helps deliver better business performance.”
Another 64 percent of survey respondents also said they have seen customer retention increases since offering remote and hybrid options. When it comes to which work style employees prefer more, 79 percent retention increases were seen at companies that offered a combination of remote and hybrid work schedules while only remote options rose 62 percent and only hybrid work options saw a 57% increase in customer retention.
"This report reinforces much of what we already know: Remote and hybrid work aren't some passing pandemic-era fads – they're now part of the modern workplace architecture," added Elizabeth Mye, Intermedia's senior vice president of HR. "Their impact on employee and business owner satisfaction isn't wholly unexpected, but the influence on customer retention is compelling. The results are pretty clear – while not without challenges, longer-term remote and hybrid options should be in the conversation for any SMB."
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