A new survey by Zoho Corporation reveals that Canadian small and medium-sized business (SMB) leaders are optimistic about their companies’ future due to higher productivity levels and digital transformation.
The Zoho SMB Outlook Survey surveyed 750 business people across Canada and found that 66.7 per cent of respondents have a postive outlook about the next six months.
According to Chandrashekar LSP, Zoho Canada’s evangelist, many problems that businesses faced over the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic were solved by IT technologies that allowed businesses to move forward.
“Productivity levels have been exceedingly high in the past couple of years, thanks to the technology and the spread of technology in every size of business,” he said.
Zoho’s survey found that 76.1 per cent of IT respondents are optimistic about the future of their business, positioning them as “the most optimistic vertical”.
LSP said this is due to the fact that essentially every business is a digital business. The demand for tech workers is high because of the increase of technology being used in most industries.
“They [leaders] need that expertise to help businesses set up and function digitally,” he said.
When it comes to hiring and retaining employees, the survey revealed that about 40 per cent of businesses are hiring and over half are neither hiring or laying people off.
LSP noted that because of remote work, hiring and finding talent is a lot easier than it once was.
“The whole idea of remote work has now enabled more jobs to come to Canada. People are no longer limited by geographies… You have the talent and you also have the jobs that are no longer bound by boundaries,” he added.
Additionally, the survey also found that only 4.9 per cent of Canadian businesses are anticipating layoffs in the coming months.
“We are looking at this from the lens of The Great Resignation. That’s been the most hot topic all over North America. What we have found, definitely in Canada, is that The Great Resignation is not as much a problem here as it is in the U.S.,” he said.
An October report from Work Force Dev indicated that while the share of adult Canadians who voluntarily left jobs within the past month and didn’t immediately resume working is on the rise, suggesting that quitting has become marginally more popular since 2020, the proportion of people in that situation is still roughly in line with 2019 levels.
However, numbers in the U.S. suggest a very different situation. In August last year, 4.3 million people workers in America quit their jobs, the highest share ever recorded in data that goes back two decades.
While a digital skills shortage still remains present in the tech world, LSP said that the high productivity levels in Canadian businesses that the survey indicates are a good sign.
“The fact that businesses are able to be productive with technology, is definitely giving them the optimism that they can meet their business goals, and achieve what they want.”