Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)  


As a new start up, or as a growing business you might not always be in a position to offer salaries as high as your competitors. But what if you can offer something more than just a high salary? What if you can offer incentives that actually benefit your company at the same time?

As a Business Manager at SWIG Finance, I regularly work with new and growing businesses, and smart working is certainly a growing trend that we have been observing.

Smart working is a model of work that makes use of new technologies to improve both company performance and employee wellbeing.


Gone are the days when we need to spend hours commuting into an office, only to then email the person sat next to us.

What if we allowed our employees to work from where was most productive for them on that day? This might allow an employee to focus on a particular piece of work without the office distractions, or to take their child to an important hospital appointment without feeling stressed about needing to arrive at work for a scripted time.

The days of the 9-5 eight hour shift pattern were useful during the industrial revolution when factory staff were required to work certain shift patterns from a fixed location.

These sorts of jobs are now far fewer and this rigid shift pattern just contributes to traffic jams, pollution, stress and anxiety. Taking into account all of the contributing factors begs the question; Is it time to forget the eight-hour day?

In the South West we have some amazing co-working locations; Mor Workspace (Newquay), Exeter City Space (Exeter) The Guild (Bath), The Engine Shed (Bristol), The Stables (Weston-Super-Mare) to name just a few.

Support organisations such as ‘Superfast Cornwall’ and ‘Connecting Devon and Somerset’, alongside service providers such as Wildanet (an investee company of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund!) can help ensure you get good internet speeds in almost anywhere in the South West.

Three Key Benefits:

  • Greater productivity – Having staff working from communal offices and interacting with other businesses on a daily basis enables them to build trusted relationships; the first step in winning new work. Having staff working from home can allow them to focus, without the distractions of office chat.
  • Happier employees and increased retention – Staff save time and money commuting, whilst feeling like a trusted employee. This allows them time to fit in the things that are important to them.
  • Lower Costs – Spend less on unnecessary office space, and expand your business without needing to continuously move into larger premises

Three Key Tips:

  • Make use of Technology  – Software such as Microsoft Teams, Google Chat and Slack all allow you to collaborate with your team in real time, wherever you are in the world.
  • Consider smart shift patterns – Some roles might not allow remote working, however you can still offer smart shift patterns. If an employee is doing a good job and isn’t missing any important meetings, do they really need to be in the office at fixed times?
  • Get manager buy-in – develop your smart working policy with management teams to ensure everyone appreciates the benefits and successes that can arise from smart working and to make sure no one is left behind!

Every business is different, and so the solution that works for your business might not work for another. For additional support, check out The Smart Working Revolution, they have a fantastic team who can help your business to design and implement smarter ways of operating that achieve improved business performance.

As Ruth, CEO of The Smart Working Revolution says; “Smart workers will work smart anywhere. Shirkers will shirk anywhere”.

SWIG Finance provides viable SMEs and start-ups with access to finance through dedicated business loan funds in the South West region.


We provide loans from £500 – £100,000 to businesses based in Devon, Somerset, Bristol, Dorset, Wiltshire & Gloucestershire, and up to £250,000 to businesses based in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

 Finance is subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. SWIG Finance Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, licence number 730724. Registered office: Lowena House Glenthorne Court, Truro Business Park Threemilestone, Truro, Cornwall, TR4 9NY

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