Small Business Owners Say Remote Work Made Them Better Team Leaders

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A majority of small business owners admitted feeling more empathetic toward their employees and colleagues since working from home during the pandemic, according to a new survey.

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The new survey, conducted by OnePoll in partnership with Field Effect, polled 1,000 small business owners to see how working remotely has impacted their company.

One of the key findings is that 56% of respondents agree that working from home has made their experience of leading a team easier and more productive.

In addition, the survey also found that most small business owners have improved their relationship with their employees by trusting them more (63% of respondents) while 55% of those polled said they now have better communication with their workers.

Another finding: about 70% of polled small business owners said the change to remote work had given them certain business opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise.

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Working from home is credited, by those polled, with an increase in customers (46% versus 25% who declared a decrease in customers) as well as an overall increase in sales (42%).

More than half of respondents said the occasional office trip energizes them (55%), while 41% said that they enjoy periodic returns because they don’t have the same capacity to oversee all aspects of their business from home.

However, the survey notes that working remotely isn’t “all that it’s made up to be,” as 48% of those polled said that running their businesses from home is more challenging than they anticipated. Indeed, 47% of respondents said they have had to multitask since the start of the pandemic — taking on additional roles, such as marketing or bookkeeping.

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Another concern illustrated in the survey results is cybersecurity, with 39% of small business owners saying they worry more about it than ever before. A full 57% of those polled say they rely on proper cybersecurity protocol to keep their business intact. This finding is perhaps unsurprising, as about 20% of respondents say they have encountered a cyber attack, phishing incident or scam since beginning a work from home routine.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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