Three in five bosses (60%) say that the Covid-19 pandemic has unexpectedly impacted the productivity of their workforce in a positive way, according to new research from Hitachi Capital Business Finance.
The survey of over 1,000 small businesses asked how their business productivity had been affected by the pandemic the day that the government announced the new tier system. Aside from their employees being more independent (20%), bosses noted that the working-day started more promptly (19%), business was more streamlined (13%), staff are more well-rested (15%) and junior colleagues experienced a greater learning curve while working remotely (12%).
The retail sector was the most likely to have seen positive changes to workforce productivity since the pandemic (64% versus 60% nationally).
The research also suggested that those bosses who saw an increase in workforce productivity – despite the outbreak – were now predicting growth in the months ahead.
Joanna Morris, Head of Insight at Hitachi Capital Business Finance commented: “While a slowdown in production and technology challenges have been cited as real obstacles to productivity, interestingly, a number of small busines owners have also seen working dynamics change for the better.
“One of the key takeaways has been a move towards flexible working and improved work-life balance, which many bosses want to reinforce for the long-term.
“Behind every decision like this are a diverse group of small business leaders – who take very different approaches to managing staff and running a business. It is only right that the financial community works to better understand these individuals so there is adequate support in place to help them get through this time.”