As reported by the Boston Business Journal, a recent survey conducted by the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, with help form several regional business groups, found that businesses are projecting that 47% of employees will continue to work completely or partially from home post-Covid. If this is the case, the number of remote workers will jump 2 1/2 times from the pre-Covid rate of 18%.
While this survey’s focus was looking at the potential impact on the commercial real estate market in the metro Boston area, we can expect these results to be somewhat similar for metropolitan areas across the country.
A significant, permanent shift in the percentage of remote workers will impact how businesses operate.
To adapt, you will want to eliminate issues that are “inconveniences” when temporary, but should not be allowed to hurt productivity or efficiency in the long term. Some of the changes we have seen and helped businesses deploy include:
- Changing your infrastructure (and using cloud services) to provide users with secure, direct access to applications and files, eliminating the need for remote desktop or VPN connections to on-premise networks and systems
- Expanding your use of social communication tools, like Google Chat and Microsoft Teams, to enable the casual and incidental conversations that occur in office
- Incrementally automating common tasks and work flows to simplify and monitor processes
- Giving your staff the ability to manage inbound and outbound calls through the company’s voice service, ensuring
- Call flows, through ACD and IVR menus, work properly
- Team members can transfer calls to others
- Staff do not need to use personal phone numbers and voicemail
- Ensuring your calling groups, like those for help desks, function well regardless of a person’s location
- Updating threat protections for users, data, and applications outside your physical offices.
- Selecting video conferencing services that are secure and that provide your team with useful features and controls, such as:
- Controlled and secure access
- Ability to share desktops, windows, and browser tabs
- Privacy tools, such as alternate backgrounds
- Captioning and transcription capture
As many of these improvements can be accomplished with the tools and systems you already have in place, the cost to ensure productivity is manageable.