I think many of us who had the privilege of being able to work from home during this pandemic have gone through waves of a love/hate relationship with WFH. At first, we hated it because it was such a stark departure from our normal lives, and many of the collaboration tools and office etiquette wasn’t ready for a fully remote workforce. Then… a lot of us fell in love with it? Well, at least parts of it. The flexibility was great. No commutes? Great. Ability to focus when not in a noisy, open-floorplan office? Great. Many of us didn’t want to be forced into a full-time, five-day-a-week physical office requirement after having tasted the fruits of WFH. But then that flexibility or focus gave way to resentment that we never leave the house, we don’t get to see our colleagues or friends, our office culture has been eroded, we don’t have facetime with higher ups at our companies, and we wanted back into the office.
For many younger workers with roommates or small spaces, they just needed somewhere — anywhere — to go work that wasn’t their bedrooms.
And as vaccines have become more widespread, the drum beat to return to our physical offices has too. Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan, certainly a historical bellwether of corporate sentiment, has called for a return to the office and stat. But for companies that don’t have quite the resources (or workforces) that JP Morgan corporation may have, are you ready for what the next 3 to 6 to 12 to 18 months will look like? And I don’t just mean Covid protocols, but how you navigate the new working normal.
WFH is here to stay… kinda
So my prediction is that WFH is here to stay… kinda. I know, the headline kinda gave away the argument, huh? Seriously though, many connotations of those choosing to work from home were met with scoffs from colleagues and workers. If you’re at home, you’re not “really” working. That was always an undercurrent for companies that “allowed” for it, but I’ll bet very few employees took their employers up on that.
Employees have proven they can and are working from home. Hard.
Now that digital collaboration really is all that, you really can get most or all of your work done remotely, often more productively than you can in a physical office.
Office space is expensive. Open floorplans look cool and feel like the company is flat hierarchically. They’re also a very cheap way to get a lot of people onto a small floor print. But they’re not very good for focused work — they’re distracting, noisy (or too quiet), and don’t work for a lot of employees.
Truly hybrid workplaces, where your physical spaces are truly designed for collaboration, group meetings, etc., while saving focus work for days where you work from home, can solve both the cost problem and the productivity problem.
But what happens if this new hybrid truly becomes the new normal? How do you maintain equity between fully remote employees and co-located employees? How do you build and maintain corporate culture? How do remote employees get mentored and gain facetime with decision makers that can help their career advancement and progression?
And do you have the necessary technology in place to enable all those things?
That’s where we come in. We’re experts in taking technological decisions off your plate and putting them on ours. Our job is to keep you productive and running full speed without having to think about it. And when it comes to navigating the technological tools you’ll need to support the workplaces your employees prefer, we can help there too. Give us a ring, and let us show you how much money we can save you.