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HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

SME staff struggle to adjust with work-from-home setup

Survey reveals more than half of SMEs are prioritising remote collaboration software and meeting tools.

Nearly half, or 49%, of workers have found it difficult to transition to a work-from-home (WFH) arrangement as 37% of SMEs did not allow such a setup before the circuit breaker was announced, whilst 43% of firms allowed it on exceptions, according to a survey by SGTech.

Also read: 78% feel more stress with work during a pandemic

But since the onset of the circuit breaker, 79% became more knowledgeable about technology tools. And 53% of respondents are putting their highest priority on purchasing remote collaboration software and meeting tools now.

Although technology is clearly helping businesses sustain, 11% of the respondents said their biggest challenge was that some of their work had to be performed on site or required face-to-face meetings. At a company level, only 22% said that they could perform more than 80% of their tasks remotely, whilst 17% expressed they could do less than 20%.

With 88% of the companies surveyed witnessing drops in revenue since the onset of COVID-19, majority of them are focusing on tightening operational costs and keeping the business afloat, the report stated.

According to Ivan Chang, co-opted councillor for SGTech, SMEs should think outside the box and see how they can do more with less. He also said that those who can replicate their connection with the customers and employees using technology will reap the benefits in the future.

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