One in three SMEs plan to increase flexible working after pandemic

The coronavirus crisis has already cost UK SMEs an average £277,893 each – and 64 percent expect their revenues to decrease by half in coming months, according to a nationwide survey released by Fiverr. The study of 1,000 SME owners and decision makers in 19 cities across the UK also claims that nearly one in three (29 percent) of UK SMEs plan to increase flexible working post-pandemic.

And despite the gloomy economic outlook, 68 percent are feeling more optimistic about remote working since Government social distancing measures have been in place.

The survey also offers insight into the different ways the top ten featured cities (Manchester, London, Newcastle, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Leeds and Exeter) are coping with the crisis, including:

  • Manchester is the freelance capital of lockdown Britain as Manchester also uses online freelancer marketplaces more than any other city, 73 percent of SMEs. 72 percent of SMEs buy into remote work – more than any city surveyed.
  • Londoners are most positive on flexibility – as 66 percent list the flexibility of enforced remote working as a positive thing
  • Bristol businesses feel the love as 84 percent SME owners and decision makers feel more connected to their families as a result of lockdown, and 57 percent feel more connected to employees – more than any other city
  • Newcastle was the UK’s most underprepared city – as 64 percent of their SMEs felt quite or completely unprepared
  • Exeter SMEs are the UK’s most optimistic, as 68 percent rate their future prospects once Covid has passed

Every city surveyed had a majority of respondents claim their productivity has either increased or remained the same as a result of remote working.

It’s also possible to rank all the cities (with a minimum 50 respondents) in terms of how well they’ve adapted to remote working conditions – by ordering them according to the percentage of respondents who claimed productivity has increased as a result of remote working.

Many are hoping to fight through the economic downturn, with 50 percent investing in digital and traditional marketing in response to the crisis.

Image: Humanscale