A new study by Hitachi Capital Business Finance suggests that the majority of small businesses (less than 50 employees) in the UK are run by introverts, and the benefits of remote working for them could now have a lasting effect long term for their employees.
The survey of over 1,000 small business owners found that two thirds (67%) identified themselves as introverts. This proportion rose most amongst the scientific/technical companies (78%), transportation (73%) or IT (65%) sectors, while extrovert bosses were more likely to be found in media/marketing (55%), or retail (47%) sectors.
Asking about the effect lockdown has had on their working practices, introvert bosses were twice as likely to say their business were “just as efficient” since lockdown started (17% vs 9%), and 50% more likely to say they had ‘no plans’ to change back to their old way of working post lockdown (15% vs 10%).
Less ‘small talk’ in the office was cited as the biggest benefit to introvert bosses during lockdown (21% vs 16%). Introvert bosses were also more likely to say productivity had increased as staff were able to crack on with projects independently (21% vs 17%).
Meanwhile, extrovert bosses were more likely to say they were able to complete more jobs each week, and had become more streamlined (17% vs 11% of introvert run businesses).
Concerns about remote working
With news of lockdown restrictions being eased and the first real sense of a timeline for the future, small businesses have to decide what style of working fits their model best. Interestingly the study found that extrovert bosses were twice as likely to say they had struggled to get hold of their staff since they had been working remotely (14% vs 7%), and more likely to feel many of their staff had struggled during the pandemic (15% vs 13%).
Whereas, introvert bosses were more likely to be concerned about collaboration within their teams, and the effect this was having on innovation.
Joanna Morris, Head of Marketing and Insight at Hitachi Capital Business Finance, commented: “Business owners, both introvert and extrovert, have discovered positive aspects about their companies which have emerged unexpectedly as a result of the lockdowns. Recognising these and applying their unique skills to working practices and business planning is enormously important as it’s probable that these positive discoveries will continue to be relevant once things return to normal. Similarly, business owners can learn from the challenges that have persisted throughout the period of home isolation – as frustrating as they have been.”
“At Hitachi Capital Business Finance we celebrate diversity and difference – and we aim to treat every business owner as an individual, working with them and supporting their specific plans for growth with tailored financial solutions that are right for them.”