The COVID-19 Workplace: Will Business Be Ready?
As the country begins its pandemic mending process, business leaders are expected to move in one of two directions. One group will deftly roll out the strategic plan developed during the lockdown. The other will play catch-up to remake their business to synch with the post-COVID workplace landscape. Decision-makers would be well served to consider whether or not your operation stands ready.
What Are Forward-Thinking CFOs Planning?
A COVID-19 CFO Pulse report conducted in late April by PwC indicates that nearly half of those polled believe that business would return to a state of relative normalcy within three months of the pandemic’s end. Another 26 percent predict it will be business as usual in less than six months. That being said, many believe workspaces and task-completion methods may be irrevocably changed. These are ways CFOs anticipate workplaces will change.
- 64 percent expect enhanced workplace safety measures such as masks, and employee testing
- 55 percent plan to reconfigure worksites to include social distancing protocols
- 47 percent expect to continue remote work as a permanent company strategy
- 22 percent expect to reduce their brick-and-mortar footprint
Although industry leaders anticipate the economy will quickly right itself, CFOs are keenly aware that losses suffered during the downturn remain an issue going forward. Upwards of 70 percent agreed that “COVID-19 has the potential for significant impact on our business operations, and it is causing us great concern.” Another 19 percent of CFOs expect at least some degree of regional disruption.
How Can Managed IT Support Post-COVID Operations?
A great deal of business optimism revolves around the IT innovations deployed during the pandemic. Chief among them was the fact that business leaders widely shifted to remote workforces. Whether an organization expanded an existing remote footprint or adopted work-from-home policies out of necessity, it appears to now be part of the present and future fabric.
“Many companies have been resistant to letting employees work from home, but this unexpected global work-from-home experiment has forced companies to accept it as a legitimate option. Companies have put greater technology systems and support in place to facilitate mobile working,” Tracy Brower writes in her Forbes article 5 Predictions About How Coronavirus Will Change The Future Of Work. “Companies will expand the acceptability of remote work, and they will provide more choice and flexibility to employees to work wherever they can get their best work done, including away from the office.”
Her insight appears to squarely hit the mark as CFOs are taking a long look at how to make up the lost revenue through cost-cutting measures. These include reducing advertising expenditures, rolling back or ending real estate leases, as well as curbing capital investments into computers, physical networks, and other technology. A recent Gartner report indicates that shifting to permanent remote workforces will be leveraged as a primary cost-reduction solution.
Studies point to remote workers saving organizations upwards of $11,000 annually. Given operations now have remote business platforms and cybersecurity in place, it makes good fiscal sense to keep that infrastructure in place and get the best return on investment possible. From the employee perspective, working from home reduces commuter-related expenses by approximately $4,000 on average.
As Stay at Home orders are lifted, and sectors of the economy move toward a new normal, business visionaries with strategic post-pandemic plans in hand are likely to reap greater financial benefits than those scrambling. It’s crucial to avoid getting caught in a log-jam of organizations seeking managed IT support. Decision-makers have limited time, but it’s in your best interest to promptly craft a recovery strategy that leverages IT solutions.