The Business World Now Operates From Couches Across America.
Does Your Business Ever Need to Return to the Office?
There was a time when working from home was considered a privilege that only benefitted the employee. Over the years, the view of working from home changed as the workforce decided it would be financially beneficial to the organization to remove some overhead by setting up employees for remote work. Nearly 6 out of 10 employers report saving money through telecommuting.
Now, COVID-19 has made working remotely unavoidable for many employers. Many employers are realizing something they never anticipated prior to COVID-19: their company doesn’t need to exist in the physical world to have success. Employees can be just as productive when working from their living room as they can in the office.
If you haven’t made the switch, it’s probably because you just aren’t sure your team can have success working remotely. As we move towards more and more states being locked down well into the summer months of 2020, it is time to assess the viability of your business model switching from the office to remote spaces, at least for the short term. It’s also time to evaluate if that is something that would make sense for you long term as well. Let’s see if your business is one that could survive switching to a remote model even after this stay-at-home period:
Is the entire business suited for remote work, or are there certain positions that could be turned into remote-based positions?
You don’t necessarily need to dive in headfirst into remote work for the entire team. You might be able to move some HR or administrative positions to telecommuting first and others can follow. It can be a beta test to see if you are prepared to handle it and if it fits with the day-to-day operations of your workflow.
Do you have client meetings that need to remain face to face?
Some companies will rent a meeting space that they only go to when meeting with a client face to face is an absolute must. After COVID-19, many people are becoming familiar with platforms like Zoom, and they are comfortable meeting online. You might find that after this stay-at-home period, your customers prefer meeting from the comfort of their own home rather than face to face.
Can you move sales to e-commerce?
Many companies who have never thought about moving to an e-commerce platform are suddenly seeing that it might be the key to their future. There are companies that can help you assess the transition and what it would cost and also help you find vendors to help with the fulfillment of orders. You might find that it is quite an investment to make but that you can quickly recoup those costs.
Could contractors help you lessen the load?
Companies never want to lay off their employees. If COVID-19 forced you to make that difficult decision, you might feel guilty about considering hiring contractors instead of rehiring your employees, but the fact is that the money just might not be there to bring them back. If it means being able to retain the employees you were able to keep on, then it’s worth it to consider using contractors to help you keep moving forward. They might keep the lights on long enough to get those employees you had to let go back in the fold down the road.
Can your company survive without the company culture working together brings?
For some companies, the culture of the company is the lifeblood of what they do. When you think of the Google offices and the synergy found within, it’s hard to imagine the company succeeding without face-to-face interaction, and that’s the world leader in tech! You will undoubtedly lose some of the camaraderie of working in an office if you go remote, so you should consider how vital that is to the success of your business.
There are many considerations as to whether this initial test of remote working will prove that it is the right choice for you in the long term. Use this time to analyze what is working and what isn’t. There is an opportunity to use this as a dress rehearsal and to see if this is a model that will have a long-lasting impact on your business.