Being that 2020 has passed and a new year is well underway, some business owners and employees are wondering how soon they can get back to the way things were before the pandemic. Should you implement a return to the office or continue with working from home? Several things need to be taken into consideration.
Is COVID Likely to Get Worse?
Medical experts are saying that new strains of COVID are more contagious (about 30 percent more). They also say that they produce more serious illness and fatalities. Since this news is no secret, your employees are apt to continue to remain reluctant to go back to an office once they understand these statistics.
Will the Vaccine Work Against the New Strains?
Some employees will not want to come back to an office until they get a vaccine. Of course, not everyone feels that way, and some may have already had the virus. Still, medical experts cannot say whether or not the vaccine is fully effective against the new strains or how long it will be effective.
Has Working from Home Caused a Work Slowdown?
Another important factor to consider is whether or not your employees are performing less efficiently. Some slowdown would be expected in the first month or two, at least until managers and employees grew accustomed to the new way of doing things. After the bugs were worked out and everyone saw that things were not going to return to normal anytime soon, your employees got settled in and got down to business.
Is It Cost-Efficient to Return?
As you look over your monthly bills of having the office space – that few employees are now using – you have discovered that your utility bills are way down. If you rent your office space, you might even be able to break the lease and get a much smaller space. This will increase your profits even more because of lower rent payments.
Do Your Employees Need to Be Local?
When looking to hire new talent for your business, hiring homeworkers gives you a much greater talent pool to draw from. If time zones do not matter, you could even draw international talent. Allowing remote work could give you a much larger choice of candidates for any new position you might have.
Offering home-based jobs could also make employees from anywhere more willing to work with your company if moving is not necessary. They could simply work from home and avoid the higher costs of living in a city.
How Do Your Employees Feel About It?
By now, most of your employees have gotten used to the idea of working from home. Many have come to like the idea and prefer it. They like the idea of not having a commute and can save money because of it. They also do not have to allow time for a commute. They will be less stressed due to traffic when they start their day. Employees also will have more time to enjoy their family due to a lack of commute time.
Employees with children are likely saving money since they do not have to pay for childcare. Those without children or seniors to care for enjoy not having the usual office distractions. They find that they can accomplish more in less time.
Some of your employees enjoy working in their pajamas and not having to dress up for work. The atmosphere of home-based jobs makes them more comfortable. This enables them to be more productive than they were at the office.
Before making your employees return to the office, these questions need answers. If they prefer working from home – why not continue to let them?