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More than half of SMBs are rethinking back-to-office plans

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A large number of SMBs across the world are being forced to reconsider plans to get workers back in the office due to the continuing threat of the coronavirus pandemic, new research has claimed.

A report from JumpCloud found that many small and medium-sized enterprises are still continuing to adjust their workplace models as the pandemic threat stays present, particularly through the fast-spreading Delta variant.

The report found that 70% of SMBs will be offering a work from home option indefinitely in order to appear employees who may still not be confident heading into an office.

Flexible working

Overall, over half (52.8%) of respondents said they are currently rethinking plans to return to the office, with an additional 15.9% saying they have already delayed their “work in the office” start date.

Of those who have delayed a return to the office, 30% of respondents have done so until September; 16.3% until October; 18.8% until November or later; and 35% are yet to put a firm date on going back.

JumpCloud's report, which surveyed more than 500 IT professionals across the UK and the US, found significant regional variations in the strictness of vaccine mandates. 

It found SMBs in the Southern states of the US (including the likes of Texas, Florida and Georgia) are least likely to mandate vaccines, with only 56.1% of businesses taking steps regarding mandating vaccinations for employees, compared to 82% in the Northeastern states (including New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts).

In the UK, 72.8% of companies in Greater London said they were taking steps to mandate vaccinations, whereas only 44.9% in the rest of the UK are.

“SMEs continue to exhibit great resourcefulness, flexibility, and initiative in responding to the pandemic and the Delta variant,” said Rajat Bhargava, CEO of JumpCloud.

"While SMEs grapple with how and where employees will work, we are rapidly expanding functionality delivered through the JumpCloud platform with new security like our recently announced one-touch push multi-factor authentication, that makes it easier and more cost-effective for small IT teams to adopt advanced security policies.”

Mike Moore

Mike Moore is News & Features Editor across both TechRadar Pro and ITProPortal. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.