Can Your Office Adapt?

Remote work used to be a luxury or an oddity. Showing up to work at your office was expected. Amid the rise of the internet, it became viable for office work to be done remotely, although the culture of collaboration still encouraged coming together in one place for meetings, management, and team building. Yet many factors continued to push increased flexibility, including the rising cost of living in many metropolitan areas, the lack of available housing, the proliferation of online workforces, and the low unemployment rate. As a strategy for the future, being remote capable is a huge advantage.

The most obvious benefit of having remote work infrastructure in place is that it gives your business the ability to react to unforeseen circumstances. Just last month a severe winter storm hit the Midwest, keeping kids out of school and keeping many workers at home, either due to childcare needs or due to road conditions. In the spring, summer, and fall, Missouri often deals with flooding of our rivers that can occasionally shut down even our major interstate highways over the Meramec and Missouri. And, of course, the Coronavirus pandemic made remote work a necessity for many in 2020. Instead of scrambling when the weather turns or unforeseen circumstances arise, a remote capable office can be flexible and keep the business running.

The demands on many working-age adults continue to rise. They may find themselves caring for both young children and elderly parents with limited resources to support them. The ability to work flexible hours or take a remote day when they need to can mean the difference between keeping a job and being forced to quit due to other demands that cannot be delegated. Considering many of these caregiving roles are held by women, who also make up the majority of nursing staff, offering this option is both compassionate and smart business sense.

Competition for workers continues to rise across all sectors of our economy. Before the pandemic, the United States had record low unemployment levels. While that environment did not drive wages up as high as some might expect, it did drive other aspects of working conditions, such as flexible scheduling and remote work. Now, many of the best and brightest are seeking companies that will allow them that flexibility. While healthcare is a fundamentally face-to-face profession, there are many aspects of the workflow that can be done remotely. Being able to offer a schedule that can react to an individual’s needs, rather than demand they adhere to the company’s set schedule, is a great asset.

Accommodating the needs of a global pandemic forces change. The change doesn’t have to be a temporary inconvenience, however, if it can lead to stronger structures within your organization that can carry you into the future.