Startups and small businesses (SMBs) are breeding grounds for new and innovative ideas. They’re landscapes in which bright minds can develop and have the freedom to think—and work—outside of the box. When thought and action are unencumbered, innovation is never far behind. These agile environments are trademarks of startups and small businesses that go a long way toward illustrating the future of work.
Though the “future of work” is a term most commonly associated with specific technologically advanced solutions, it’s recently come to represent more than that. It’s a mindset and cultural initiative indicative of a future working environment in which employees are urged to collaborate, develop, and produce differently than in years past.
The future of work represents a concerted effort to help employees establish a sustainable measure of work-life balance. Technology and the workplace of the future combine to provide on-the-go and remote work options, allowing employees to be just as efficient working from home as they are in the office.
The future of work allows for this kind of flexibility and accessibility while representing an ideal match for small business culture. Here are a few more advantages these resources provide small business company culture:
1. Consolidated Technology: Small businesses have access to any number of productivity platforms and solutions. Moving forward, however, the big trend will be the consolidation of these individual offerings into one suite of solutions.
Future working environments will see different platforms interact and communicate with one another to complete individual projects. SMB technology should be lean and agile, and it must operate at the speed of small businesses. That will come when individual platforms combine their wares and build full-service stacks that seamlessly integrate into small business company culture.
2. Fewer Constraints: We live in a time when an office can be whatever or wherever we want it to be. Modern employees crave the freedom to work and create at a moment’s notice, whether they’re sitting on a plane, in the back of an Uber, or at a coffee shop.
This lack of constraint can be liberating for small business employees. By acknowledging this desire to work off-campus, you demonstrate the faith you have in employees to stay on task and create value while also being respectful of their need for space. In turn, employees will have more pride in the work they do—and in the company.
3. Purpose-Driven Employees: Pride in an employer and the work being done is a staple of small business culture. As future-of-work solutions become more prevalent, they’ll give workers the freedom to explore the purpose in their work and find the work-life balance they crave.
Small businesses command an all-hands-on-deck mentality that welcomes all inputs and insights. These three outcomes of future-of-work solutions will lead to small business cultures that focus on connections and collaborations. Small companies need SMB technology that nurtures those shared experiences if they want to continue to be destinations for bright, innovative, and creative minds.
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Cory Treffiletti is a marketer, author, entrepreneur, and student of popular culture with a deep background in digital dating back to 1994. He is currently Global Head of Marketing for Cisco’s Webex.com and previously was Chief Marketing Officer for Voicea (acquired by Cisco in 2019). Treffiletti was also CMO for BlueKai, a cloud-based, marketing data management platform acquired by Oracle in 2014, where he became CMO of the Oracle Data Cloud. Before going in-house as a B2B marketer, Treffiletti pioneered the digital agency world by launching strategy firm Catalyst SF and as an executive in agencies such as i-Traffic, Freestyle Interactive, and Carat (Aegis). His strategies have been documented in his weekly column on digital marketing since 2000 for MediaPost’s OnlineSPIN/Media Insider, as well as his book, “Internet Ad Pioneers” (available on Amazon.com). Treffiletti has served on a number of industry boards and networking organizations and continues to advise companies with a unique B2B offering and a specific set of challenges to overcome.