Apparently there is a reason most businesses functioned for decades in a common workplace setting: enhanced productivity.
Since the Covid-19 quarantines started, employees have been forced to work from home in almost all jobs with some of the notable exceptions being health care, food and agriculture services, public safety and service, certain manufacturing and energy, social services, and transportation.
However in other industries, employees have functioned at home for the past couple months or more. Many used remote access portals for work from their desktops or specialized services like Bloomberg terminals while communicating with co-workers, management and clients with services like Zoom and out-fashioned teleconferencing.
The perks of working from home are well described. Relaxed hours, no commute, comfortable clothes, and lack of grooming necessity all enhance the home office appeal. Child care is made much simpler. Pet care as well.
Unfortunately, as many business leader will acknowledge, face-to-face communication is still vital. Conversations are not the same. Team building falters. Brainstorming sessions more more forced and less natural. Ideas stay undeveloped. Interactions suffer. Trust is harder to build. Relationships with clients do not adequately grow.
In short, productivity stagnates.
The safety of workers and community is always foremost. However, developing safe approaches to return to work should be the goal. The businesses that can glean the best strategies from the options being thrown at them and balance all their missions will emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic as the ones most positioned to succeed.