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Utah businesses should be flexible when it comes to remote work

Millions of American workers have been given the chance to continue to work from home during the ongoing coronavirus response. And it’s clear that many of these workers have adapted well. A recent survey from staffing company Robert Half states that 74 percent of respondents wanted the option to work remotely to continue even after any restrictions are no longer needed.

At the same time, employers themselves may not be so enthusiastic about the new normal workforce. according to writer Emma Penrod, who covers technology and business for Utah Business magazine. In her article on the drive to remote work, she outlines the case for businesses to be flexible and continue to offer work-from-home options in order to keep any progress they may have gained during COVID-19.

Keeping progress alive is a priority for any business, and especially for ones that are in their early years. First Utah Bank has an option for small businesses to encourage progress — a loan that can be used for specific needs to help a business thrive.

Turning the comforts of home into the comforts of work

Penrod interviewed Tiffany Arcaris, the Salt Lake City manager for Robert Half. She believes that remote work will continue at her company, especially when its poll noted that 60% of those workers surveyed felt it helped them with work-life balance. “People have a taste of it now,” Arcaris said, “and they’re like ‘Hey, this really works for me.’”

Arcaris added that working from home has led to more meetings and communications between teams. At home, workers can’t just throw together a meeting or visit in the hallway as they can in an office setting. As for a negative, she notes that the flexibility of time actually working at home can lead to overwork, either over a sustained period or in working past the usual 5 or 6 p.m. quitting-time.

“I need to tell people to take a break if they’re working at their house,” Arcaris said. “At the office, that becomes very normal, where you go get coffee with a colleague every day at 10:30. At home, we’re finding some people feeling very fatigued and not working that out.”

There are benefits that are clear to Arcaris, though, including the widening of the talent pool to include workers not in the hometown of the company.

Adapting takes time to be truly successful

Mitchell Colver, who directs the Center for Student Analytics at Utah State University, said that there are some specific skills remote employees need to work on, including self-time management and being adaptable to new situations or technology in order to get the work done.

To get some data going to support some of his own research, Colver surveyed students and instructors to see how they were handling the work-from-home mandates. Environment definitely factors into things: computer science students could adapt more easily while others struggled because they weren’t used to working in a more restrictive environment driven by technological needs.

Even with that, Colver pointed out that it’s not just natural adaptability as a factor for success in working from home. There’s also the regular amount of time it takes to be able to pivot to a new way of working.

“Unless people have lead time,” Colver says, “they can’t develop that process. What’s important is to pick a strategy and go with it. Because as soon as you pick a strategy, you can say, ‘Here are all the skills you need to be successful, and here is how you develop those skills.’”

Small business loans tailored to the needs of your Utah business

No matter if your employees are working mostly from home or are still in an office environment, adaptability is all-important to navigate today’s constantly changing expectations and needs. First Utah Bank can help Salt Lake City companies that are beginning to blossom with loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

First Utah Bank is the preferred lender for SBA loans in the Beehive State, and we have a department dedicated to these types of loans. The specialists at First Utah Bank can help you navigate the details when applying for an SBA loan, which are commonly for business owners who find that traditional or conventional bank financing isn’t available or is too difficult to obtain.

The specific needs for which an SBA loan can be used look like milestones that every business goes through. SBA loans can be used for:

  • Money for leasehold improvements
  • Buying an existing business
  • 
Purchasing inventory or receivables
  • Adding to working capital (a term loan or line of credit)
  • Refinancing debt that is maturing
  • Consolidating debt to bring in more money
  • Managing cash flow during peak buying seasons
  • Buying machinery, fixtures and equipment
  • Starting expenses for a franchise or a new business
  • Financing exports
  • Buying or building an owner-occupied commercial building
  • 
Expanding or refurbishing facilities in order to modernize them

As you continue to navigate the business world, First Bank Utah can be there to provide options for your continued progress and success, whether its as an SBA lender or with any banking need. Find out more about what we have to offer at our website, or call us at 801-308-2265.