Tip of the Week
Research shows that one of the ways small businesses can attract and retain top employees is to offer them more freedom in where they work. Sixty-four percent of small business owners report that offering flexible, mobile and remote work options have assisted them in hiring or retaining key employees according to research from Plantronics’ 2013 Workplace Flexibility Survey. In addition, research from Cornell University shows small companies who granted employees a choice in how they work grew four times faster and had one-third the turnover rate of more control-orientated companies.
Best of all, the benefits of offering flexible employee work schedules don’t end with attracting and retaining top talent. Small and medium-sized businesses will also enjoy:
* Boosted employee productivity
The old belief was that employee productivity dropped off when employees left the traditional office setting. Recent research, however, shows the opposite to be true. Remote workers actually log more hours than on-site workers and are more engaged, according to a Gallup survey. Technology allows employees to feel connected to the office while enjoying the comforts of home, making them more productive over the same time period.
* Reduced office expenses
Every manager knows that employee costs — salary, benefits, hiring and training costs, etc. — are the most expensive aspects of running a company. For many businesses, real estate costs come in second. Allowing employees to work offsite frees up existing commercial space for new employees to use, or it can allow a company to downsize its real estate footprint and save money.
* Cuts in travel costs and expands in sales
Allowing your employees to enjoy remote working opportunities not only offers your company the chance to reduce its real estate expenses, it can also reduce travel expenses as well. Hiring remote workers in new locations expands your sales footprint when you hire professionals who live in a region instead of just traveling there. These regional sales professionals also have the opportunity to build stronger relationships with clients located outside the corporate office’s territory.
Beware of clicking on Internet ads and links promising “exclusive,” “shocking” or “sensational” news of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 or other recent tragedies. These legit-appearing links often lead to a barrage of spam ads for online gambling and other similar products.
Scammers love to take advantage of the hype surrounding major news stories, especially tragedies. In addition to impersonating victims or family members on Facebook, con artists also post teasers for “sensational” video footage relating to the event. Click the link, and you may be prompted to “update your video player” (scam-speak for download malware) or take a survey before viewing. Doing either of these can open you up to identity theft or give scammers information (such as email addresses and cell phone numbers) they can sell to spammers.
— Better Business Bureau
Best metro areas in America for business and careers, 2014:
1. Raleigh, North Carolina
2. Des Moines, Idaho
3. Provo, Utah
4. Denver, Colorado
5. Fort Collins, Colorado
6. Lincoln, Nebraska
7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
8. Salt Lake City, Utah
9. Seattle, Washington
10. Nashville, Tennessee
Rankings based on factors related to jobs, costs of business, costs of living, income growth, quality of life and education of the labor force.
Number to Know
9 percent: The decrease in iPad sales reported in Apple’s latest quarter. This comes on the tail of a 16 decline in the quarter previous.
Researchers at Stanford University report they have developed a pure lithium anode that has the potential to increase battery capacity up to 400 percent. The breakthrough could also enable the creation of small batteries with longer lifespans than the batteries in use today.
Biz Bits: Making workplace flexibility work
Tip of the Week