A Forbes article surveyed 900+ American workers on the causes of the “Great Resignation,” which revealed that low salaries, limited job opportunities, and inadequate pandemic health measures were among the reasons millions quit their jobs.

With an eye toward the small and medium business (SMB) market, SMB Group has a vested interest in understanding how the COVID-19 pandemic affects trends for the year ahead.

As such, the firm carried out its own survey of 736 decision makers and influencers and provided their findings in a complimentary eBook, SMB Directions for the Future of Work.

The eBook explores two years of volatility’s impact on business, technology, the workplace, staffing, human resources, and collaboration. The report notes that many changes, challenges, and opportunities brought on by the pandemic have dramatically affected the workplace and the workforce, with the power dynamic now tilting to employees.

Although power shifts can be concerning, the first SMB business trend suggests small businesses (between 3 and 2,500 employees) are optimistic about the future. SMB optimism plummeted at the start of the pandemic but steadily increased through November 2021, when this survey was conducted. There were substantial differences in future prospects by industry in this latest study, and optimism increased with company size.

According to the survey, the greater the number of employees, the greater the increase in optimism. Sixty-one percent of the SMBs surveyed anticipated higher revenues from April 2020 to November 2021, while about three quarters changed their business and technology strategies to meet new market conditions.

Still, the second trend indicates a number of macro trends that can potentially undermine the positive outlook. A few examples of macro trends include rising inflation, supply chain disruptions, and talent shortages.

Other SMB trends include:

  • Remote work will remain (with challenges)
  • Collaboration apps are crucial
  • Cybersecurity safeguards are one of the top challenges in technology
  • In the next year, several new hires are expected

By increasing flexibility, SMBs are also aiming at retaining employees. According to the eBook, “58% said that they have a strategy to support a more flexible workplace, and 32% said they are developing one.” Ninety percent report that their flexible policies are working.

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Acumatica is a proud sponsor of SMB Directions for the Future of Work. In it, you’ll find findings and insights that will help every SMB make 2022 a success. Among the nine takeaways, we particularly like one that emphasizes the benefits of implementing technology, such as a cloud ERP system.

“Just under half of SMBs said that they accelerated tech adoption due to COVID-19. The link between tech investments and performance is clear: SMBs that accelerated technology adoption and investments were 1.6 times more likely to anticipate increased revenues in their next fiscal year than those that decelerated or made no change.”

There is one recurring theme in 2022 business trends: the importance of cloud ERP. Interested in learning more about our cloud ERP solutions? Reach out to the experts at ASI today.

And don’t forget to download the eBook.