Crowded Corporate Offices In America May Go Extinct

It’s official — there has been a dramatic shift in the mindset of senior leadership in terms of allowing staffers to work from home. The concerns around productivity and business application access were washed away in the COVID-19 crisis, replaced with companies that are attempting to revamp their communications infrastructure to meet this new normal. With sales down and no clear path to improving the economy, companies are looking high and low for ways to cut costs. Traditionally, this would have meant massive layoffs but the ability to slash commercial real estate costs and reduce overhead may be able to offset some of these losses. Crowded corporate offices may well open up again, but it’s unlikely that they will be packed solid with workers as they have been in the past.

Corporate Offices In America

Gazing Into the Future of Remote Work

Even if companies are ready to reopen their doors and bring employees back to work, there’s no guarantee that staff members are emotionally ready to make the leap. A recent Gallup poll showed that 62% of people were working from home during the height of the coronavirus crisis. While that number may have eased some, major companies such as Facebook and the combined empire of Twitter and Square are committed to allowing remote work options for employees “forever”. Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, notes, “Seventy-seven percent of the workforce say they want to continue to work from home, at least weekly, when the pandemic is over.” With this type of commitment from the world’s largest companies, it’s only a matter of time before remote work becomes much more commonplace for small to mid-size businesses as well.

Companies Are Becoming “Digital by Default”

A viral tweet by CEO and founder of Shopify summed up the situation: “As of today, Shopify is a digital by default company. We will keep our offices closed until 2021 so that we can rework them for this new reality. And after that, most will permanently work remotely. Office centricity is over.” Even with all of the technical challenges being faced by individuals and organizations, there are many ways that remote work reduces costs for companies in terms of office space and commercial real estate, utilities and operations. What’s still needed, however, is a robust and resilient communications infrastructure for the business.

Short-Term v. Long-Term Remote Work Strategies

Short-term IT infrastructure strategies for remote work were very much focused around survival: what’s the bare minimum that we can do to provide a secure and reliable way for remote staff to do at least most of their jobs. The lack of social interaction is being offset in part by an explosion in virtual meetings via a range of teleconferencing solutions such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx and more. Nationwide, Mondalez and Barclays are a few of the latest major corporations to announce that they’re permanently shifting their staffing models in an effort to create a solution that works for employees as well as the business.

Maintaining a secure, reliable infrastructure is paramount for your business, but there are significant challenges on the horizon as companies continue to stumble through the COVID-19 crisis. Having an external voice that provides your team with the clear, concise leadership and recommendations that you need during this difficult time can help reduce costs and form a more resilient infrastructure. Contact the vendor-neutral professionals at Altera Solutions at (646) 859-3330 or via email to Information@alterasolutions.com'>Information@alterasolutions.com to schedule your complimentary initial consultation. While our team does not directly provide IT managed services, we work closely with solutions providers to ensure that you receive favorable pricing on the tools that will help support the foundation of your business for years to come.