Press Releases

TriNet and The New York Times Debut The People Report at TriNet PeopleForce

Report reveals that 87% of small business decision-makers have invested in digital technology, accelerating digital transformation for greater success; Full results unveiled at 2nd Annual Award-Winning Conference Focused on Business Transformation, Agility and Innovation for Small and Medium-Size Businesses

DUBLIN, Calif.— September 13, 2021 - TriNet, a leading provider of comprehensive human resources for small and medium-size businesses (SMBs), today announced “The People Report,” created in conjunction with The New York Times’s T Brand Studio. The report illustrates deep insights about small business owners and the state of their work, with a goal to provide actionable insights needed to power organizations.

The report was unveiled during the 2nd annual, award-winning, TriNet PeopleForce, a four-day conference being held in-person from The Times Center in New York City (built by renowned architect Renzo Piano) and virtually from anywhere. The event kicked off today with an impressive roster of distinguished speakers sharing timely and insightful content vital to business success and the future of work.

The report found that as the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and adjusted workplace scenarios at small businesses in all industries, small business decision-makers are feeling positive and optimistic. This is especially true in regard to how the pandemic has made reaching key audiences easier and positively impacted sales and growth. Through navigating challenges brought on by the pandemic, 87% of small businesses decision-makers have adopted, purchased or upgraded one or more pieces of digital technology since the pandemic began.

Developed in collaboration with Morning Consult, a global data intelligence company delivering insights and custom market research, The People Report was designed to help TriNet empower small business owners from Main Street to Wall Street to focus on what matters most —the people who help them succeed.

TriNet selected The New York Times’s award-winning, in-house content studio, T Brand, to help democratize the data about the working world that was uncovered in The People Report. This is being done through compelling data visualizations and insightful, original editorial content about the people and partners who are leading the charge when it comes to defining the cutting edge of how people work.

Fielded between June 10 to June 21, 2021, the study gathered insights from 500 small business decision-makers across various industries, including manufacturing, financial services, retail, technology and professional/business services. The People Report analyzed three key areas:

  • Digital Transformation: The digital technologies adopted have permanent and important impacts on the workplace — 68% of decision-makers say these technologies have positively impacted “the processes we will implement permanently” and 64% say these technologies positively impacted “how we manage our workforce.” The digital transformation is also having a strong impact on how small businesses reach target audiences — 71% agree that they are adopting new ways to reach audiences and 72% are changing their approach to marketing and advertising.

  • Remote Work & Workplace Culture: Small businesses have quickly adapted to remote work and are feeling positively about it — 76% of small business decision-makers whose employees are working fully from home or in a hybrid model say their employees feel positively about this working situation. 60% agree that their company is more open to recruiting talent outside of their community or region due to the adjustment to remote work. One-third of decision-makers are paying more attention to their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts.

  • The Future of Business and Resources: A majority (58%) of small business decision-makers say sales and growth at their company have been positively impacted by digital transformation and remote work. Thinking about tasks and issues they’ll face in the future, small business decision-makers feel most prepared to “manage payroll and benefits for employees” (90% very or somewhat prepared) and “retain current talent” (85%). One third (32%) say they will purchase software and services to organize and optimize processes in order to navigate these new problems in the future.

"In this cultural and economic climate, small business owners need this powerful tool for entrepreneurship and empowerment. Crafting innovative approaches to how we deliver meaningful brand stories is a hallmark of our work at T Brand,” explains Vida Cornelious, VP Creative of NY Times Advertising.

“This report illuminates the resilience, tenacity and unparalleled innovation that America’s small and medium-size businesses exemplified during the pandemic. The survey results paint a very eye-opening picture of how far the business landscape evolved in such a short period of time, what companies should be doing right now to stay competitive, and where we are headed in the future,” said TriNet Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer Michael Mendenhall.

The People Report will live on a custom landing page on The New York Times as branded content versions of a source of research, insights and information about the global workforce. Stories that emerge will unearth meaningful conversations on topics being explored through the research like mobility, collaboration, mental health and work-life balance.

Occurring September 13-16, TriNet PeopleForce is a one-of-a-kind event taking place both virtually and in-person from New York City. The conference brings together business, culture and the arts with a roster of high-profile leaders to help SMBs reimagine, rebuild and move forward as they come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees will hear from renowned speakers and experts on topics such as SMB agility, calculated risk-taking, the future of work, business resiliency, DEI, healthcare, the state of the economy for SMBs and much more. TriNet PeopleForce also fosters networking opportunities for its participants with business leaders from across the country. To register for the virtual conference, click here.

Those wishing to attend the live SMB event in New York City can request a ticket by emailing

About TriNet

TriNet (NYSE: TNET) provides small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) with full-service HR solutions tailored by industry. To free SMBs from HR complexities, TriNet offers access to human capital expertise, benefits, risk mitigation and compliance, payroll and real-time technology. From Main Street to Wall Street, TriNet empowers SMBs to focus on what matters most-growing their business. TriNet, incredible starts here. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter.

Alex Bauer
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Renee Brotherton / Josh Gross
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