Why Remote Work Will Continue Long After the Coronavirus Pandemic
According to research from Gallup, “Sixty-two percent of employed Americans currently say they have worked from home during the crisis, a number that has doubled since mid-March.”
Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown businesses that it's possible for employees to maintain productivity while working from home. But, is 'WFH' here to stay, and what does that mean for your company?
Work-from-home (mostly) works
Working from a home office can be a great experience for both employers and their employees. And according to the same Gallup data cited above, three out of five U.S. workers want to continue with remote work once social distancing restrictions are reduced.
However, a sizable percentage of employees would rather return to their workplace or office — 41% to be exact.
Distributed workforces still need space
At-home work can be an effective arrangement for teams, but a portion of the distributed workforce may still need access to a quiet, private office space. This is particularly important when home-based solutions don’t allow for productivity (like when working from home with kids).
Fortunately, in today’s modern workplace, innovative business leaders have access to tools that can help balance remote work with in-person collaboration.
An alternative to regional and small company offices
Once the pandemic has passed, companies with large teams may want to hold onto their traditional office spaces in large commercial buildings.
But, businesses with regional offices and small businesses might consider a more flexible alternative: a virtual office space.
Virtual offices offer ultimate flexibility — small and medium-sized teams can rent on-demand spaces whenever there’s a need to interact and collaborate. At Intelligent Office (IO), we often refer to this concept as a “pop-up office,” and we expect this trend to grow even after life returns to pre-pandemic norms. That’s because this type of flexible work arrangement provides access to a variety of spaces, from private offices and executive suites to fully-equipped meeting and conference rooms.
Space can be rented by the hour, day, week, month or longer. The membership terms are based entirely on your company, your team and what you need to be productive. Once your small business tries on-demand virtual office space, you may even realize that your old office lease is no longer necessary.
What are the benefits of combining remote work with virtual office space?
As the pandemic forces small business owners like you to reconsider how their teams work and collaborate, it can be helpful to assess the benefits of a hybrid work arrangement. In my experience working with Intelligent Office members, here are some of the top benefits:
- Deep Focus: When it comes to deep work, the home office environment has plenty of distractions. A dedicated workspace provides employees with an opportunity to focus intently.
- Balance: In this new normal, the need to think deeply about one’s work (and to balance “communication days” with “productivity days”) will be more essential than ever before. A quiet and private office makes it easy to find harmony between deep work and collaboration.
- Flexibility: When you have a distributed workforce, flexibility is crucial. A combination of work-from-home and virtual office spaces makes it easy for every team member to do more of their best work.
- Affordability: If your team continues to work from home after the pandemic, you’ll need less space. Virtual office spaces are an affordable option that allows your business and its employees to benefit from both environments.
Learn how your small business can get the best of both worlds
No two businesses are alike, and every company’s balance of remote work and in-office work will look different.
To find the perfect fit for your organization, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Intelligent Office — our team will help you determine exactly what your team needs.