Home office: the new business reality
It is a fact: returning to work after the pandemic will not be the same. Home office must be seen as an extension of the company, a viable alternative that can be used to increase productivity and improve results.
According to a survey among Mexican companies’ CFOs conducted by the consultancy company PWC, 6 out of 10 businesses consider that remote work will remain a permanent option in their daily operations, which implies that employees are already considering this as a reality and a health preventive measure after the Covid-19 crisis.
Although adapting part of their processes to home office represents an important challenge for companies, regardless of their size, it is important to consider that some workers will be afraid to go out into the streets, which means employers must be flexible to their needs.
Thus, among some recommendations that SMEs can consider, following are the most important:
- Increases responsibilities
- Maximize the use of technology through collaborative and process management tools
- Set weekdays for employees to work from home
- Define objectives or results, including sales, number of contracts or new clients, among others
- Define direct communication channels, such as videoconferences on fixed days and hours, or specific work chats, to name a few
- Maintain working hours. Employees perform their duties just as if they were at company facilities
Benefits for the company and its employees
The design of a gradual strategy to adapt home office to the new business reality may result, in the short and medium term, in quality of life improvements, reduction of office fixed costs, time optimization, and even employee loyalty increase
In this sense, it is not just a matter of switching overnight from an on-site to a remote way of working. A process that does not affect business operations should be established and analyzed with the employees themselves in order to receive feedback on the needs and challenges they will face to adapt to new work schemes.
For the company, the benefit can range from the elimination of office leasing and computer equipment rental, to the reduction of rates for services such as electricity, internet and water, to name a few. Meanwhile, home office may highlight the qualities of the best employees, making them more productive and, consequently, improving company results.
It should be taken into account that the health contingency will force some companies to redefine their operations, allowing some or all of them to be carried out from home; however, there will be some processes that will have to remain on-site. In this context, it is very important to involve employees to become part of the new business reality.