Small Businesses to Invest in Communications in 2009, Survey Says

Most small businesses in North America (59 percent) say they are investing in communications technology right now, or plan to do so within the year, according to a new survey on small business technology trends from Avaya Inc.

The survey results reveal a small business environment that is still interested in investing in communications technology, even during these tough economic times, with 75 percent saying that communications technology is critical to their business. Some key reasons cited: When it comes to keeping employees as productive as possible, communications tools are the top response (46 percent), followed by compensation and flexible work schedules.

The 2009 Avaya Small Business Survey, conducted online through a third party (e-Rewards) in April 2009, provides thoughts from North America small business professionals on a wide range of economic, technology and communications trends.

According to Avaya’s small business survey, telecommuting and mobile technologies are of interest to small organizations, with the majority (69 percent) saying they would let employees work from home, if it could be done on a trial basis first. The most popular reasons for allowing small business employees to work from home are to increase productivity (39 percent) and retain employees (35 percent).

However, most small businesses are not yet equipped to let employees work from home or mobile locations. According to the survey, 66 percent of respondents say that less than a quarter of their employees – and in some cases no employees – are currently equipped to work away from the office.

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