Your New Daily Routine: at Home or in the Office?

Is the daily routine returning to the office now or has the COVID-19 crisis changed our way of working for good—or rather, where we work? Improvising is over, our daily routines need reorganizing. 

Offices and shops are reopening, many of us are returning to our familiar workplaces. This creates a feeling of normality, but still, scarcely anything is what it was before: Disinfection fluid dispensers, notices, and banned areas all make it quite clear that we are still in an exceptional situation. On top of that, many businesses are leaving returning to the office to employees as a voluntary option. Distancing rules and other hygiene provisions will make sure that remote ratios will be significantly higher that before in the long run as well. There will simply not be enough room in most office buildings to keep the needed distances with full employee population. Efficient remote solutions will therefore continue to be essential for business operations in future. 

Home offices will become a standard 

The social networking service, Twitter, lets its employees work from home forever if they wish so to do. And according to a survey held by the public Hesse broadcasting service, 43 per cent of the respondents can imagine working “from afar” permanently. There have even been political calls for installing a right to home office work in parts. This claim was voiced by the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil. Meanwhile, companies are advertising jobs declared as full-time remote work. For the time being, employers will still be determining the place of work if they can meet all the related requirements. 

The present state can vary quite a bit in different businesses depending on their respective basic situations. Many companies already had infrastructure for remote work in place before the “home office crisis” arose. These include VPN solutions, team organization and collaboration Tools, as well as adequate home office outfits. Other organizations could only keep their business operations up and running by purchasing notebooks and cooperation solutions in a hurry. Now their IT departments are challenged to turn hectically deployed makeshift solutions into permanent processes. And what should they look like? 

Organizing sustainable remote work 

Nearly all businesses have managed get the essentials done from afar. But eventually, permanent solutions will be needed at some time. Procedures postponed or restricted during the height of the Corona crisis are waiting to be reinstalled – workshops and major meetings, customer appointments and other sales activities, and more. Even organizations already well equipped for teleworking now face these challenges. The current situation was a stress test for tools and processes but now, long term solutions are in demand. This is also where employee consultations (“Are the IT’s tools helping as intended?”), as well as advice from the data security official and from human resources, can help. The reason is that home offices must comply with a host of legal provisions as well. But, companies need to make sure that working remotely will not come with disadvantages. Hiring new employees and their development and career prospects should never depend on their work location. 

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