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There are many theories as to what drives financial literacy, including socioeconomic backgrounds and cultural or geographic considerations. It’s also widely understood that our younger years are formative for establishing financial behaviours and habits that can build the foundations of our financial capabilities as adults.

Sound financial decision-making is strongly linked with improved financial wellbeing and greater participation in economic life, affecting quality of life, the opportunities people can pursue, their sense of security, and the overall economic health of society.

The survey was conducted by Findex Group Limited ABN 40 128 588 714 (Findex) between 11 - 22 October 2021, with 512 respondents from the SME sector. All statistics and data contained in this report and on this website are extracted from these survey results, or otherwise referenced. While all reasonable care is taken in the preparation of the material, to the extent allowed by legislation Findex accept no liability whatsoever for reliance on it. All opinions, conclusions, forecasts or recommendations are reasonably held at the time of compilation but are subject to change without notice. Findex assumes no obligation to update this material after it has been issued. You should seek professional advice before acting on any material.

When Worlds Collide: Small business meets post pandemic life


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As governments around the globe and locally turn from elimination strategies to living with coronavirus, Findex surveyed more than 500 small businesses to understand their perspectives on ‘living with COVID-19’ once restrictions are eased.

With our 2020 report highlighting a shift to flexible working models and increasing adoption of technology, we were interested to know if businesses were committed to these changes for the long-term. Or, were they hoping for a return to the status quo of life ‘before COVID-19’?

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Small business meets post pandemic life

Report highlights

The Great Resignation

As certain sectors throughout Australasia struggle with skills shortages and talk of ‘The Great Resignation’ gains momentum, we asked businesses about the impacts to their business and their general levels of confidence in retaining employees.

With almost nine in ten employees wanting to continue to work from home or retain flexible working practices, our report found small business employers are concerningly disconnected from what their employees want. 

50% small businesses are concerned about their ability to retain staff in the next 12 months

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Nearly 60% employers would like their employees to 'never' or 
'rarely' work from home when businesses open up

How small business is navigating a return to office

In our May 2020 survey, many businesses indicated a preference to permanently shift to remote working or hybrid working conditions post-COVID-19. During the pandemic, numerous employers adapted their business models to accommodate this.

So, with restrictions easing and occupation limits rising, how were small businesses navigating their return to office? And does this align with changing expectations of employees and consumers alike?  

1/3 businesses experienced a drop in productivity in 2021

Changes to small business outlook and confidence

When we surveyed businesses in May 2020, we were two months into the pandemic and business confidence and outlook were strong. Fast forward almost 18 months and business confidence is not so chipper.

As we begin to open back up, it is apparent many small businesses fear further disruption. Our study found small business owners are feeling battle fatigued and scarred, with more businesses struggling with productivity in 2021 and feeling less positive about the outlook for the year ahead. 

62% businesses will have essentially the same business model when restrictions are lifted

Post pandemic business models

The pandemic forced businesses to pivot in ways they never expected. Whether it be adapting their workforces to remote working, implementing new technology to service clients and communicate with employees, or adapting their business model, all businesses have been impacted one way or another.

Having come so far in their transformation, it would now appear small business owners are yearning to return to the familiarity of pre-pandemic times with most indicating a return to pre-COVID-19 business models.