We all know that COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on the workforce and workplace. As the economy reopens in fits and starts, a disturbingly high number of workers continue to file for unemployment. Meanwhile, businesses struggle with how to survive in the new normal, and whether and how to bring employees back to work.
The problem is particularly tough for small and medium businesses (SMBs). Prior to COVID-19, SMBs employed nearly half of all workers in the private sector in the US. SMB Group’s study, SMBs: Navigating a Path Forward: How Will SMBs Get to the Next Normal? bears out that the industries most susceptible to job loss (such as hospitality, healthcare/medical/dental, travel, retail, etc.) amongst SMBs are the same as those in large businesses.
However, SMBs took a bigger hit. According to the SBA, since a declaration of emergency for COVID-19 was issued on March 13, 2020, total private employment dropped by over 15 percent. Small business employers (with 1-500 employees) bore the brunt of the job loss, with a decline of more than 17 percent.
In this infographic, Navigating a Path Forward: Workforce and Workplace Impact and Plans, we highlight key workforce and workplace changes, challenges, and plans in the wake of COVID-19, such as:
- Actions SMB have taken to reduce salaried employees and contractors, and their plans to bring back workers.
- Churn in contractor staffing.
- Workforce and workplace challenges.
- Work from home trends and challenges.
- Workforce related investment priorities.
As the trajectory of COVID-19 and its impact on the economy evolves, so will the impact on SMBs. SMB Group will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds to understand the impact on SMBs and how they are adapting to meet new challenges and pursue new opportunities.
This research is from the SMB Group Survey, SMBs: Navigating a Path Forward—How Will SMBs Get to the Next Normal?, fielded in July 2020. Sponsored by Dell Technologies, Mitel, Sage Intacct, Workday, and Xero, the study gauges the sentiments, outlook, and actions that SMBs are taking to sustain their businesses amidst continuing uncertainty. We surveyed more than 750 decision-makers and influencers North American SMBs (1 to 1,000 employees) and midmarket organizations (1,000 to 2,500 employees) for this study.