AN OFFICE OUTLOOK: SHORT & LONG TERM EFFECTS OF COVID-19
COVID-19 has caused global devastation and has demonstrated conditions that this generation has never seen before. Apart from the health considerations, businesses too have been deeply affected. The closure of non-essential public spaces has removed virtually all revenue-driving opportunities for small businesses and corporations. Because of the lack of revenue, there has been a sweeping, nation-wide layoff.
Although there is an expected unemployment rate of 10% - 30% nationally through Q2 2020, businesses are still looking to cut costs further. Some businesses think removing their commercial footprint and having a 100% remote work environment can prove to be a life-saving solution. However, our Business Advisory Services research shows that only 20% of people have the right personality to work from home successfully long term. Of that 20% of people, even less have a job function that lends them the ability to work remotely. Simply, you can't do certain jobs remotely.
Moreover, if you force an employee to work remotely and they do not have the right personality for the job, they will feel deeply unappreciated and are likely to look for a position where they can satisfy their need to collaborate and communicate. While remote work may be a necessity in the short term to keep employees safe, it's not a viable long term solution for most businesses.
If cutting costs is your concern, removing your footprint entirely may cause employees to feel a deep dissatisfaction with your brand and cause you to lose high-caliber talent—costing you a lot more in hiring and training in the long run.
Instead, to accommodate the need for collaboration, cleanliness, and social distancing, implement a flex-time and flex-space environment. Giving your team the option to work from home while providing a place to collaborate can be the next draw for hiring and retention. Also, work alongside your landlord to make sure that you indeed are providing a safe re-entry procedure for your employees when the time is right to come back to work.