Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Small Business News Highlights for October 6:
- President Trump shuts down stimulus negotiations
- The workforce in 2025: How the pandemic is changing things
- The new normal for employee benefits
Trump shuts down stimulus talks
“I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hard-working Americans and Small Business.”
In an abrupt about-face, President Trump has instructed administration officials to stop negotiating with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on a new stimulus package.
The announcement stunned lawmakers, including Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and some people have questioned whether the president’s erratic behavior can be linked to the steroids he’s taking to treat his COVID-19 infection.
What the workforce will be like in 2025
“By 2025 I envision we will have a hybrid model and we will be more deliberate in who comes to the office and for what purpose. That may include engineers working in our labs, customer visits that would bring us into the office or innovation days to bring in project teams. That’s because we’ve found we can do so much remotely, including Webex meetings and talent expos.”
The ongoing public health crisis continues to shape the nature of modern work, so much so that employers are struggling to keep up with the rapid pace of change. As more companies move to make a larger part of their workforce remote on a permanent basis, HR departments are grappling with the challenge of keeping employees connected, driving innovation and collaboration, and accessing talent across a geographically dispersed location.
In response, research shows that more companies are relying on automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning to manage their workforce, and increasing their use of freelancers.
Employee benefits changing in face of COVID-19
“Wellness is the top priority that organizations are addressing right now. Companies had already been starting to go that way, but now that priority has been pushed up so much. We expect this issue to have an impact for the next several years.”
The COVID-19 public health crisis is causing HR departments to reevaluate priorities when it comes to the benefits offered to employees. According to a recent survey, 47% of employers report that they have enhanced healthcare benefits, 45% are boosting well-being programs, and 33% are changing their paid time off and vacation day policies.
Other employers are shoring up policies to help working parents meet their childcare needs, offering flexible work schedules, providing online fitness benefits, and expanding policies to address mental health concerns.