SMEs plan push on flexible working for new year

Three quarters of small and medium sized businesses are considering or planning to introduce flexible work options in 2011, according to new research from Orange.

Three quarters of small and medium sized businesses are considering or planning to introduce flexible work options in 2011, according to new research from Orange.
 
The survey of 2,181 UK SMEs also found over a quarter (26%) plan to hire more staff in 2011 than they did in 2010.

The survey found that many businesses were optimistic that 2011 will be a positive year, with 76% predicting either a more prosperous year for their business, or the same level of success as 2010. Some 74% of SMEs are considering or plan to introduce flexible working options in 2011, citing staff efficiency as the main driver. This is supported by the fact that more than half (52%) plan to spend more on information technology over the next year (compared with 2010), singling out communications equipment as the top technology to support their business.

When asked what technologies they would like to see more of in 2011, social media, business applications and mobile WiFi were listed by SMEs as the tools needed to further their business.

"These results provide an interesting snapshot into SMEs’ plans for 2011, and it’s great to see that businesses are positive about next year. What is also encouraging is the overwhelming number of companies that plan to introduce flexible working. It demonstrates a strong desire to drive a more efficient business, and is also a great way to help employees strike the right work/life balance," said Martin Lyne, SME Marketing Director, Everything Everywhere.

"The findings from the Orange research certainly echo our own plans for next year. Despite the challenging financial climate, this year has been busy for us and our projections for next year are positive. We’re even planning on hiring more staff and doubling our headcount. We’re also seeing many businesses now collaborating through social media, and plan to invest more in this area in order to reach out to existing and new customers,” said Dr. Andrea D’Ercole, Managing Director of ItalyAbroad.com.
 





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