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Kaspersky finds staff in small companies need less employer support than those in larger firms

According to a recent Kaspersky survey, employees who work in companies with fewer than 50 employees require less employer support while working remotely when compared to staff in larger businesses, with the exception of emotional or psychological support.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many companies, and small businesses have suffered more than others. According to numerous research findings, up to 90% of small companies have experienced a negative impact from the pandemic, such as drops in production, sales and revenues, and even complete closures. As a result, it is important for business leaders to monitor how employees feel and supervise the consequences that these effects can have on their business.

Kaspersky's latest survey revealed that the largest gap in support expectations is seen in social aid and additional benefits such as covering internet or phone bills. In North America, 41% of small company employees would like more support with this, in comparison to a slight increase at 42% among those working in medium-sized businesses. The same pattern is true for required technology support, like helping to provide the right equipment and IT tools (28% compared to 29%). This may be due to the fact that it is more common for people in small organizations to arrange their own working environment, use personal devices for work and take care of access to work services.

Emotional or psychological needs also play a factor for all businesses, with research finding 22% of employees across small organizations and 21% across larger organizations requiring this support. The impact of the pandemic has not only affected people's daily lives but has also caused anxiety for their own health and that of their loved ones, making mental health support significant for employees.

"People who have experience working in small businesses may feel more self-sufficient in the new working reality as this has helped their organization to concentrate all of their resources on survival," said Ivan Salikhov, product manager for SMB products at Kaspersky. "However to maintain employee productivity and moral, it is still important to make sure that staff have all that they need for work. When it comes to their technology set up, employees need help to use IT securely even if working on personal laptops and managing access to all web services alone." 

To facilitate remote working conditions for employees, Kaspersky recommends the following actions:

  • Open and honest communication is crucial for employees, as they seek cues from their managers on how to react to crisis situations. Organize ‘Ask Me Anything' sessions with the company's top management so that they can talk to employees about how your business will continue working in the new circumstances.
  • Run surveys to understand the emotional state of your employees, their workload, if they have everything they need for remote working, and if they have clarity on the business processes.
  • Help your employees manage information overload and the feeling of being overwhelmed at this uncertain time. Keep your teams informed of the facts and current situation, as well as on how to stay safe and healthy.
  • Create HR and IT online communication channels so that everyone can easily solve their issues. Provide guidance for all employees on how to enable remote working and use certain software. It can be done through webinars or group calls.
  • Educate employees to use basic security practices when working remotely, such as how to avoid becoming a victim of email or web phishing, or how to manage accounts and passwords. Kaspersky and Area9 Lyceum have created a free course to help staff work safely from home.
  • Adopt a cloud-based security solution. Even small companies should protect themselves from cyberthreats, regardless of whether employees work on corporate or personal devices. Kaspersky Small Office Security can be installed remotely and managed from the cloud; it doesn't require much time, resources or specific knowledge for deployment and management.

To read the full report, ‘Securing the Future of Work', please visit here.

Published Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:24 AM by David Marshall
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