This handbook aims to provide SME Managers with an operational framework and practical guide with respect to recent developments in the management of an ever-evolving landscape of work.
In 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 a pandemic. This outbreak led to significant changes in the public and private world of work, causing new trends to emerge and necessitating revisitation of the rules and habits so far applied. Specifically, the Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped work worldwide, thereby hastening a trend toward more flexible working arrangements. Hybrid workplace models combine remote and in-person work, offering employees the freedom to work from any location while still enjoying the advantages of an office environment.
This irreversible trend will reach a key turning point in the next years. The number of professionals employed in a hybrid model is expected to continue to rise and for the first time, individuals who work from a single location will be the minority.
It's evident that a major change is taking place in how existing and future employees view the world of work. When it comes to attracting and retaining top personnel, a large payment is no longer enough. The priorities have shifted and a growing desire for greater work-life balance has emerged. However, the transition to a hybrid workplace model can fail or bring negative consequences if there is a lack of technological tools and operational requirements, the absence of clear and effective communication as well as a convergence of mindsets and goals between management and staff personnel. Therefore, it appears to be necessary for companies to spend time and valuable resources updating employee training and policy communication.
At the same time, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are vital for today’s economy because they account for a large portion of economic activity in many countries. They produce about half of the world’s total output and employ two-thirds of the global workforce. SMEs are also an important source of innovation and entrepreneurship, which are essential for economic growth. They are more likely to be flexible and respond quickly to changing markets and working conditions (ILO, 2019).
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