Who wants to get back in the office?

”There was this long list of things that I swore couldn’t be done remotely. In the last two months we’ve done all of them.”

There are a lot of folks who are re-evaluating their need for office space right now.

After having worked for 2 months without being in the same physical location as your team you’ve gotten all of the technology worked out. You’ve adjusted your culture, your workflows, your social norms, to working remotely.

You might even find that you kind of like it!

If you’re the camp of thinking about giving up your office space there are some things you need to start thinking through.

Not every employee works well remotely

Though moving toward a fully remote workforce can opening up talent that you couldn’t consider before (especially if they don’t live in commenting distance of the office) it also means that you need to screen for people who thrive in a remote environment. How will you change your hiring practices to make sure you include that screen?

One challenge that some of my clients have is working with interns or new college grads in a remote environment.

Not every employee has an ideal home office setup

We’re all making do right now (because we have to) but it’s likely that you have team members working on their couch, or their dining room table, or sharing a workspace with their toddler, who would rather work in a proper office setup. If you give up the office will you offer to pay for a co-working space for those team members without a functional home office setup?

I’ve also seen work-at-home companies hire ergonomic advisors to help their employees create a safe workplace and budget money for each employee to upgrade their desk, chair or other work tools.

What do you pay for, what does the employee pay for?

Are you willing to let your team members expense some of their home office costs? Some common ones I’ve seen included, Internet access, printer supplies, shredders, etc.

Other companies are just giving folks a “home office allowance” and letting them spend it any way that they want.

Privacy and Data Protection

Some companies work with client data that needs to remain private. Video editors who work on broadcast or feature film footage, people who handle credit card numbers or social security numbers or other private data, or companies who handle medical files need to pay particular attention to data privacy. Can you audit your team’s home networks? How can you keep any records stored securely?

Are you planning to change anything about your office going forward? What have you learned from this time working at home?  Hit reply, I’d love to know.

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