As nations and states outline plans for reopening, businesses need to decide what normal will look like in the post-pandemic world. Will millions of workers leave remote work behind, dig out their business attire and return to the office? Or does the traditional office become a relic of the past?
For most organizations, the answer remains complicated. With tools such as Microsoft 365, remote workers can collaborate over distance more safely and productively than ever before. However, some jobs simply need dedicated office space, with team members close at hand.
At the same time, COVID has provided a wake-up call. Organizations that plan ahead for similar disruptions in the future position themselves to thrive. Understand the benefits of both traditional and virtual offices. Then find the right approach to meet current needs while preparing for possibilities ahead.
Benefits of the Traditional Office
Chance discussions in the elevator can prove pivotal, and many employees thrive in the structured environment of a traditional office. Workers can set aside other distractions and focus on the work at hand, and teams benefit from the opportunity to physically gather in one room.
The traditional office also allows the organization to build its brand. This can prove important in client meetings. It can also play a significant role in attracting new talent. Even in today’s digitally-focused world, a recent study showed that salary and workplace remain the top two considerations for prospective employees.
Traditional offices also make cyber security easier. And with hackers continually on the attack, protecting privacy and vital intellectual assets takes high priority. Securing a suddenly-remote workforce has proved a significant challenge for IT departments.
Benefits of the Virtual Office
On the other hand, remote work brings benefits for both the organization and the employee. The organization benefits from cost savings, as rent typically ranks near the top of business expenses. In addition, with a remote workforce, organizations can hire from anywhere. A business in Kansas, for instance, can include employees living in Texas, California and Virginia.
Employees gain back the hours spent commuting and the ability to even out the balance between work and personal life. With reduced stress and more control over their time, morale improves. And for many workers, working remotely provides the optimal space to concentrate, improving productivity.
Build in Flexibility for Uncertain Times
For most organizations, the right answer probably lies somewhere in the middle. Many workers will choose to continue working remotely at least part of the time. Others will welcome the chance for in-person connection and the ability to leave work behind at the end of the day. But, with future lockdowns possible, businesses need the ability to adapt to multiple scenarios.
We can also help you design a business cloud solution that meets your needs, whether you choose to migrate completely to the cloud or develop a hybrid environment. From Microsoft 365 to virtualized servers and cloud security, we make sure your employees can collaborate from anywhere, keeping your business up and running even in challenging times.