What’s the missing catalyst to transform digital transformation projects from losers to winners? Saving money. When business owners save money with a pivot to remote work the reasons to stick with the required changes become much more compelling. The pandemic of 2020 has transformed “normal” business into a very expensive process. In the United States we are not a point where this normal business can be considered reliable. Some States are removing restrictions on working from offices, but others are returning to lock downs. Bottom line: the cost of the whole process is very expensive.
For knowledge workers there is no compelling reason to return to work from brick and mortar offices. But you wouldn’t think so from articles published recently in prestigious news media like The New York Times. David Streitfeld wrote a story the Times published yesterday, “The Long, Unhappy History of Working From Home”. Reading between the lines of Streitfeld’s story, the big takeaway is the manager’s lament:
I can’t watch how you do what you do when you work for me from your home
With this mentality clearly it is not what you do, but, rather, how you do it. Management by objective is out the window. But getting back to today’s COVID-19 realities, is the complete visibility gained by pulling people back to your office worth it? At a minimum cost of $3K per employee, 3 months into a complete business shut down, does our manager have either the $30K cash required to prepare the office, or the burning need to do so? What if, worst case, the manager takes the bait, spends the $30K, but the employees fail to show up? Will they be willing to use public transportation to get to the office if there are doubts about social distancing, contaminated seats and more.
The answer is probably “no”. The safer bet is information workers will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future. Software like our client’s VisualSP digital adoption platform is designed to help employees manage themselves through to successful web platform computing. These tools will be in demand for some time to come. The cost savings delivered when information workers work from home are simply too good to ignore, or to pass up. Consulting businesses offering expert guidance on how to successfully shift to working completely from digital platforms will also benefit as business owners drive the change required to cash in on savings.