I have a friend whose boss recently asked a question that would have seemed nonsensical three months ago. “Even though we’re allowed to return to the office, should we?”
“No,” my friend said without hesitation.
The company she works for rents a large and expensive office space. Aside from the potential risks of having staff return to their desks, her boss was asking employees their thoughts on working from home long-term for another reason. Could the company actually save money and still operate effectively if they eliminated the overhead of a brick-and-mortar office altogether?
Early indications are a resounding “yes.”
The employees at her company have been properly set up to work remotely since day one and have not missed a beat since the pandemic sent non-essential workers home back in March. They have gained customers and are on pace for their best quarter ever. Add in the savings of not renewing their lease, and it seems like a no-brainer to continue to let staff work from home for the foreseeable future—regardless of the pandemic.
“Even though we’re allowed to return to the office, should we?”
The harsh truth is that many companies are struggling during these difficult times, and I urge everyone to support local businesses as much as we can in hopes they can weather the storm. But on a positive note, I have worked with several area businesses that, like my friend’s company, have been able to adapt to the new challenges facing SMBs and continue to operate at the highest level.
These businesses all seem to have three things in common:
1. Their remote staff’s technology is secure and reliable, with the highest levels of cybersecurity controls in place to ensure their remote employees are not putting the company at risk.
2. They reinforce a strong company culture through regular meetings, transparent communication, and fun interactions and virtual events to keep morale high.
I do not know what the future holds, but many of us will be working from home for quite some time. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I am seeing many businesses prove that when done correctly, companies can not only succeed by having employees work remotely, but oftentimes it makes more sense. Businesses are saving money and mitigating the potential risks of having numerous employees in the office at one time, and employees are spending less time commuting to and from work.
We need to prepare to work from home for the foreseeable future and we need to do it right! Many companies scrambled to get remote staff set up as quickly as possible but failed to properly secure their network, did not provide their employees with the proper home office tools, or just didn’t (and still don’t) know how to virtually provide a strong company culture.
We need to prepare to work from home for the foreseeable future and we need to do it right!
I’ve written three articles to address these issues. I hope these will help your business succeed and your remote employees thrive during this new era.
- Work-From-Home Done Right: What Remote Employees Need To Do To Keep Your Business Safe From Cyber Threats
- Keeping Your Remote Staff Motivated: Why Your Company’s Core Values Are More Important Now Than Ever
- Get Comfortable! How To Set Up Your Team To Work Comfortably And Efficiently From Home
If you have any questions about your employees working remotely, or about what we are doing at PCR Business Systems to keep our team engaged and working efficiently from home, please don’t hesitate to email me directly.