Is working from home a viable alternative to working from an office? Could a hybrid 3/2 schedule become the norm or could a distributed workforce be the answer for many businesses as they seek the best solution for navigating what’s next. The employee’s wishes are now front and center and cannot be ignored.
I believe working from home (WFH) is feasible and can be a long-term solution for many positions depending on the industry, experience, and specific day-to-day functions. What I don’t believe is that the WFH movement is right for everyone or a strategic way to cut costs. I’ve been representing companies with their Commercial Real Estate needs for over 24 years, and I believe exactly the opposite. All businesses now have a new challenge. They must create not only a safe place to work but an amazing place where people want to spend time. The keyword is “want”. No longer should companies just provide space for employees to work and assume it’s good enough. That mentality was kicked to the curb thanks to the WFH Movement and should have been a long time ago. Only a few robust technology companies were ahead of this movement. These companies designed living rooms, game rooms, fireplaces, sliding boards, etc to compete and attract the most amazing talent. Now everyone else must catch up.
Emerging technology companies create a place where you want to be, not have to be.
Most companies are not operating to maintain existing business levels. Every company I know wants to grow; they want to innovate. In order to innovate, you need collaboration. Brainstorming and strategizing next to a group of incredible minds cannot be replaced with Teams or Zoom. Think about a distributed workforce where you give employees the opportunity to choose where they work. You call a meeting to plan for an upcoming software release where three people are in person in the conference room and 3 are on a video call. You click the end button, satisfied with your meeting knowing everyone knows what to do next. Then Jerry, who is in the room with you, mentions a discrepancy with the timeline. The three of you brainstorm over pizza, coming up with a solution that is exponentially better than what was decided on the video call.
Which leads me to my point. Problem-solving often requires creative, in-person, spontaneous rain storming and collaboration. What is the best solution for your business? In order to know definitively, you have to ask yourself a whole lot of questions. What happened to the three on the call? Are they as important as the three sitting in the room? Are they building the same relationships and solving the same problems or are they inadvertently the second-class workforce? Is your company poised to grow and innovate? How do you balance the needs of your entire workforce? What positions can be done from home 100%? Who are the innovators in your workforce that most benefit from joining forces with other innovators? How can you create a workplace environment where everyone has the opportunity to participate? What should your new normal look like as you being navigating what’s next.
How does a business figure out navigating what’s next and what will work for them?
And that’s where we come in. Every business has different needs, different positions, and a different culture. Evaluating your office space and developing a hybrid plan should become a priority if it isn’t already. Meet with an expert that understands the workplace, your office lease, and can create custom options for your specific needs. If you’re navigating what’s next, schedule a complimentary confidential consultation, please click here.
Want to learn more about what leaders are saying right now about what’s next? Check out our evolve workforce innovation video series and podcast!
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Kim Ford, SIOR, LEED AP is the Founder & CEO of Rise Pittsburgh a Commercial Real Estate firm in Pittsburgh, PA. She has 4 children, 2 dogs, a cat, a super cool husband, and loves fitness and the outdoors.