While corporate perks like casual Fridays and floating holidays may never become business imperatives, there’s one corporate perk that’s quickly becoming an integral component of business success. According to a recent survey commissioned by Microsoft, telework has become a business imperative for organizations of all sizes, even for SMBs.

Survey results indicate that for the most part, SMBs are embracing telework as a real business imperative.

More than half of SMB information workers surveyed nationwide (56 percent) say their company has a formal policy allowing employees to work remotely. However, on average, SMB information workers nationwide say they work remotely only about half as many days as they would prefer, which means many SMBs are still dragging their heels when it comes to creating flexible work arrangements for employees.

In telework scenarios, both employees and employers stand to gain. Information workers nationwide cite a better balance between work and home priorities, eliminating a long commute, productivity and finishing work as the main reasons to work remotely. Consequently, businesses also prosper with higher employee productivity and satisfaction. Additional employer benefits include access to a larger talent pool and lower overhead costs.

What’s more, SMBs that fail to implement telework policies and technologies will fall behind their competition. As time goes on, not just employees, but also customers and clients, will view flexible work environments that support greater availability and access to information as a necessary means to success and satisfaction in the marketplace. When SMBs fail to embrace remote working, recruiting, employee and customer satisfaction and retention all will suffer.

Consider your workplace. Is it accepting of flexible work arrangements and are they an integral part of how your company operates? Or, is remote working something that happens only on a rare occasion, in part because your business doesn’t have the technology it needs to support a mobile workforce?

In either case, begin exploring the ways Microsoft Office 365 can help you better mobilize your employees. An affordable, cloud-based solution, Office 365 can vastly improve the way teams communicate and collaborate by making your technology available to employees anytime, anywhere from virtually any device. It also provides a highly secure infrastructure to give you peace of mind that your business data is safe, no matter where employees choose to access it from.

Get more information on technology and your small business at

About the Author(s)

Cindy Bates

Cindy Bates is the vice president of the U.S. Small- and Mid-Sized Business (SMB) Organization at Microsoft. Cindy and her team serve millions of SMB's in the U.S., helping them start, grow and thrive by utilizing today’s powerful and affordable technologies.

Vice President, Microsoft SMB
Laptop in Field