When the Pandemic Ends, What is Your Business' Longterm Plan?
Across the country — and in fact the entire world — businesses are once again opening their doors. The number of COVID-19 cases in many areas is, however, actually rising — and employees who are more health conscious than ever before are aware of this.
In addition to the present health concerns, many workers have found they prefer working from home — according to the president of Global Workplace Analytics, Katie Lister, and reported by Forbes, 77% of employees report wanting to continue working from home even after the pandemic is over.
Also estimated is that by the end of 2021, twenty-five to thirty-five percent of employees will work multiple days every week from home. It is because of reasons like these that businesses need to start considering embracing the work from home situation permanently.
BUILDING A DECENTRALIZED CULTURE
The popularity of remote work has been no secret for quite some time now. It was however, vastly more popular with younger workers. A survey conducted by Deloitte in 2016 discovered more than half of millennials said that working from home boosts their productivity, and a massive three-quarters said that they would prefer to have more work from home opportunities made available.
Until spring of this year, businesses were dipping their toes in the remote work water — but when the pandemic hit, this forced change fast-forwarded the adoption of working from home. And for businesses with the capability to support remote work stations and the collaboration tools necessary for communication, the change has, in most cases, been much easier to handle than expected.
The problem is culture.
Maintaining and developing a company culture is difficult when your employees lack the space and time to socialize in shared social spaces. This is why a robust collaboration tool is necessary to any healthy corporate culture.
Whether for health reasons, or due to personal preference, employees will demand to work from home — and just as the pandemic changed how we spend time together, shop, and eat, it also changed our perception of working from home. Before the pandemic, work from home was seen as a luxury, and was often met with concerns about accountability and efficiency.
This perception, however, has disappeared just as fast as public events and buffets. Businesses in the future must be able to account for remote employees, and that includes the fostering of their corporate culture.
REMOTE CULTURE MEANS ADOPTING NEW TOOLS
In addition to a remote collaboration tool, companies must now begin considering their plans for long-term decentralized communications for all of their systems: phones, servers, and employees. This is why all businesses should be considering VoIP, VPNs, and collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams or Slack.
Also, be sure to take into consideration the concerns of your potential clients. Just like your employees, many clients in the B2B market, and customers in the B2C markets will prefer to engage with your business as remotely as possible.
In order to achieve full efficiency with remote client and customer communications, your business needs to consider e-signature software, as well as a virtual-meeting service. Luckily, collaboration platforms like Slack and Teams offer the ability to communicate with outside users, but there are also options like Cisco WebEx and GoToMeeting.
It may have seemed like a temporary solution when we first began to switch to remote work — but polls and people are saying the same thing. Work from home is here to stay. For more about getting your business operating at 100% efficiency with a remote workforce, download our Ultimate Work From Home Guide.