Survey reveals most common communication and tech challenges for SMEs during lockdown

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30th June 2020 11:32 - Business Support

Survey reveals most common communication and tech challenges for SMEs during lockdown: A survey of people working for SME companies has found that 86% have faced 'significant' challenges during the COVID-19 lockdown, which they have had to overcome in order to maintain normal 'business as usual' operations. 

When asked about the greatest challenges facing their business, 50% of the 1,000 respondents polled in the survey by broadband ISP Onecom said they had faced issues facilitating group calls or finding the right communications platform for employees to use.

When it comes to working effectively as a team, the research found that managing workers remotely was the second greatest challenge faced by SMEs (27%), followed by 'home-based interruptions' (25%) and issues making and receiving calls (24%). 

Also listed as challenges were sending and receiving emails from home (23%) and misunderstandings arising from spending less time with colleagues face-to-face (22%), while a similar number of respondents admitted they have faced challenges in getting acquainted with the many different communication methods and platforms used across teams and organisations (23%). 

Other issues or challenges reported included motivating employees remotely (21%), issues with broadband connections (21%), finding software to facilitate remote working (20%), and facilitating client or supplier calls effectively (18%). 

Meeting the social needs of employees was also highlighted (17%), along with managing team priorities (16%), managing the times employees work (15%), lack of available equipment such as phones and laptops for employees (14%), maintaining robust security (14%) and getting access to specific software applications from home (13%). 

In terms of productivity, two-thirds of SME workers said that they feel that their productivity levels have changed since they began working from home, with more than half (56%) saying their efficiency has increased or remained the same (both 28%). Almost two-fifths (39%) said their productivity has fallen since they began working from home.

When it comes to how motivated workers feel, 54% said motivation has increased or remained the same (25% vs 29% respectively), while 42% said they feel less motivated. 

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