The Daily Rundown

SBDR: Remote Work, Employee Appreciation, XSMBs

Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.

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We’ve got some interesting stories for you today. For starters, if you’re struggling with getting your remote workers to perform, it’s worth taking a look at your management style to make sure you’re not the issue. And while you’re at it, have you acknowledged the good work or milestones your employees have achieved recently? You probably should! And finally, a few reasons why XSMBs are on the rise.

Problems with remote workers? Start by looking at their managers

As teleworking becomes increasingly more prevalent in society, the discussion about how to measure the effectiveness of remote workers is evolving, too. In fact, some people suggest that the key to a strong remote workforce is having good managers in place. Without managers who know how to properly and adequately manage from a distance, even the best employees will feel micromanaged and frustrated.

The Number: 400%. A dominant workplace trend, the number of remote workers has grown by 400% over the past decade. 

The Quote: “I’m a 100% teleworker in the research field, which I love. The problem is my boss believes mentoring me means watching me via video call as I work.”

After all these years, it’s still the little things that matter

The Harvard Business Review recently tackled the issue of employee appreciation and it turns out your mother was right on this one: saying “thank you” makes a difference. For managers, the ability to make people feel appreciated results in greater worker productivity. The problem, however, seems to be rooted in the fact that there’s a big gap between how much managers appreciate their employees and how appreciated those employees, in turn, feel.

The Number: $0. The good news is that appreciation is completely free and gratitude is a renewable resource. 

The Quote: Meaningful expressions of appreciation were often described as timely, relevant, and sincere, and expressions that come off as hollow may actually be worse than no thanks at all.”

When you think about the future, think small … really small

Speaking about the changing nature of work, the workforce, definitions of success, etc., maybe it’s time to think about downsizing? By some estimates, the next decade will be shaped by extra-small businesses or XSMBs. Today, running one’s own business is seen as a more reliable way to create wealth — especially for minorities who don’t always flourish in current societal structures. Additionally, the younger generation is more entrepreneurial and more politically active, priming them to break out of the corporate mold. Go small … or go home!

The Number: 54%. The future is uncertain for many workers, with 54% reporting that they believe their role will be automated within the next 20 years. 

The Quote: As we transition to a more digital, distributed, and data-driven world, the future of work will be built not by the largest companies in the world, but by the smallest.”

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