In the Age of Remote Work, Should You Keep a Physical Office?

The year 2020 has brought many unexpected changes, to say the least. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we’re living, interacting, and doing business.

Many businesses in the US, like many other companies across the world, have shut down their physical offices and begun working from home for the foreseeable future. And those who find this solution to be working well are considering keeping teams remote in the future.

But those going all-in on remote work are now wondering, is it worth it to keep a physical office, even when many employees are working remotely? Ditching the office could introduce significant savings, but it could also cost your business in other benefits. Here are some of the pros and cons of keeping a physical office in the age of remote work.

Pros of Keeping a Physical Office

Even if most of your business’s work can be done remotely, there are still perks to having a physical office.

One example is that it gives your employees options. Not every employee has the right equipment or ideal setup to work from home, and there’s something about going into a working office that helps staff members concentrate and focus on their tasks for the day. Being at home might be a nice option to have, but employees can also benefit from the option of working in a traditional office.

Despite the advances in communication, working together physically is also better for team communication and creativity than doing all your communicating over email, the phone, or a video conference. Employees can get to know each other better and develop greater camaraderie when they can at least sometimes see each other in person.

Additionally, sometimes you need a physical element in a meeting or presentation. Having a legitimate space where in-person meetings can take place with clients or your team can be crucial to building relationships and getting more creative when it comes to collaborating.

Pros of Going Totally Remote 

So what about getting rid of the office altogether?

The most obvious benefit is the cost savings. You can save on the cost of your rent or lease, insurance, utilities, and more when you decide to ditch the office. And even though a water heater company in Pacoima can offer affordable fixes for your plumbing and water heater repair, regular building maintenance isn’t a cost to sniff at either. In short, going without the office is the significantly cheaper option when it comes to overhead costs.

Fully committing to a remote workstyle also gives you the ability to hire additional staff members from different locations outside of the area your office is based in. New team members won’t feel out of the loop just because they aren’t in the office.

When making a decision, you need to weigh your business’s specific needs and style. What do, or would you continue to, use an office for if the majority of your employees work from home? What are your employees’ preferences, and how are they handling the switch to remote work? Do you have local clients who prefer to meet in person in a professional office?

You may decide that to continue using a physical office but downgrade to a smaller space. Or you may decide that an office has become unnecessary since remote work has become universal. Whatever your choice, make sure to carefully weigh the benefits, consequences, and how your decision would affect all areas of operation.

Chris Turn