One Change That Will Be Permanent After COVID-19

Remote work started as a short-term, forced effort to keep organizations operational during lockdowns, but is it here to stay? Take a look at what CFOs are saying now…

As provinces started implementing lockdowns to contain the spread of coronavirus, businesses, schools, and daycares were forced to shut down. For many, this inspired a shift to remote work to continue operations. It’s no secret: we’re dealing with unprecedented times. For many organizations, the impact of coronavirus has resulted in a decrease in revenue. This is due to economic uncertainty amongst customers who are staying at home and slowing purchasing decisions.

What’s on the horizon as we start lifting restrictions?

As we look towards a new sense of normal, CFOs are making plans for the future. Within those plans there’s one change that’ll likely be permanent for the majority of organizations: remote work. Gartner surveyed 317 respondents to find out what CFOs are doing to manage cash flow. Here are some interesting findings from the survey:

  • 74% are planning to shift some employees to remote work permanently, even after shutdowns are lifted.
  • 81% are planning to exceed their contractual obligations to hourly workers via remote work to create a more flexible schedule.
  • 20% are currently cutting their on-premises technology spending with another 12% planning to do the same.
  • 13% have cut some or all of their real estate expenses with another 9% planning to do the same.

Embracing remote work makes good business sense in a post-coronavirus world

Going forward, social distancing will continue to play an important role in minimizing the spread of coronavirus, and in turn, minimizing the impact of a potential second wave. Also, remote work minimizes expenses associated with:

  • Increasing the size of real estate/offices to accommodate the entire workforce due to requirements associated with social distancing.
  • Purchasing, maintaining, and upgrading on-premises workstations and equipment for employees to use.

Also, there’s no need for organizations to limit themselves to a specific geographical location to retain top talent. This means that organizations are free to hire based on skills that fit within their budget as opposed to making the options available within their region work. Rest assured, the decision to continue remote working will likely be well received. In a post-coronavirus world, employees are likely to feel:

  • Uncertain about taking any sort of mass transit
  • More productive working from the comfort of their own home
  • Uncomfortable coming back to an office environment

Knowing this, the question isn’t if businesses should continue to do remote work it’s how can you make remote work even more effective and productive going forward?

For most organizations, the transition to remote work was unorganized and unplanned. Going forward, a more cohesive approach can be embraced – allowing you to make remote work even more effective and productive. Here are our recommendations:

Take advantage of the cloud

Cloud-based solutions allow you to access the resources you need from any device or location at an affordable pay-per-use cost. This includes:

  • Desktops
  • Collaboration platforms
  • Business phones
  • Line of business applications
  • And much more

By ensuring accessibility for remote workers

When ensuring accessibility for remote workers, you eliminate the higher costs associated with purchasing, maintaining, and supporting on-premises equipment needs, especially in today’s day and age where technology advances at an incredible rate. Upgrading every  2-3 years later with new equipment is not only pricy but ultimately impossible for some companies.

Enforce a remote work policy

A remote work policy should be documented and enforced to ensure the most efficient possible day-to-day operations amongst employees working from home. This should cover:

  • Expected hours and/or schedules
  • Directory for employee/management contact information
  • Expected response times and/or communication requirements
  • Acceptable technologies, tools and/or platforms
  • Remote support resources available
  • And much more

Your remote work policy should cover all of your expectations in terms of productivity, response times, and the acceptable use of company resources, including technologies and applications, from home.

What are your options to minimize spending and maintain cash flow?

Naturally, many organizations may look toward the idea of laying off some staff members to minimize spending and maintain cash flow. According to the survey mentioned above, CFOs are working hard to avoid this and are instead taking other actions:

  • 58% have frozen any hiring
  • 60% have canceled leadership/offsite events
  • 49% have delayed capital expenditures
  • 32% have delayed or frozen new hire offers
  • 51% have frozen travel expenses

Ready to create a cohesive remote work strategy going forward? Let’s work together to get you set up properly. Get in touch with us via the chat box to speak with one of our professionals.