With the South African government considering a phased approach to ease lockdown regulations and restrictions, companies around the country are grappling with the question of how to adapt to working from the office again in a time of Covid-19, with many exploring the option of a distributed workforce. David Seinker, founder and CEO of service office space business, The Business Exchange, discusses why this could provide the answer to a new way of working for many companies.
- Many employees want to work from an office
Despite the perks of working from home, working from an office environment is often the option that many employees prefer. “People are tired of their dogs barking and interrupting their Zoom calls and having to also juggle looking after their children right now,” says Seinker. “Working from an actual office presents fewer distractions for employees, allowing them to be more focused on the job at hand.”
Importantly, Seinker believes that for many employees, being surrounded by other hard-working people is the essential motivation they need to push themselves to higher success. Not only do they thrive within a team collaboration and company culture setting, but also benefit from the on-tap advice and inspiration from colleagues. Employees and employers also often feel far more comfortable with on-site IT support and infrastructure, which means extra safeguards for company records and private data.
- A distributed workforce decreases the risk of viral infection among the team
With employees working from different locations, if one member of the team falls ill, the risk of infecting their colleagues is automatically reduced.
“During this time right now, it’s important to minimise the risk of getting and spreading Covid-19,” says Seinker. “With employees based in a number of different locations, should one person fall ill, companies need only put one or two teams into quarantine as opposed to an entire floor or company.”
- It might be too risky to open the head office right now
On this issue, Seinker says: “Let’s be honest. For many companies, going back to the office isn’t possible right now as these buildings may sit within a high-risk area.”
For a number of businesses, moving back into their original office environment would require them to be able to ensure they are not putting their employees at risk. Separating the company across multiple locations means that many can be placed outside of the “hot” zones.
- A lot of the operational tasks are taken off your hands
While employers, of course, have to ensure that employees have everything they need to do their work on a daily basis, distributing the team across serviced office spaces means that there is less to worry about when it comes to actual operational costs.
“Serviced office spaces, such as those offered by The Business Exchange, manage all the operations of the office space,” says Seinker. “We manage the common areas, the kitchen and all the cleaning. In fact, right now, we have put very stringent cleaning protocols in place and we constantly share cleaning information with companies using our offices so that they have it all easily at hand.”
- You get access to a diverse range of potential employees
With teams and hubs all across the city or country, companies immediately open themselves up to a more diverse range of suitable candidates for vacant positions.
“If your perfect match for your company is sitting in Johannesburg, but your head office is in Cape Town, you wouldn’t normally be able to hire them without convincing them to relocate,” explains Seinker. “By separating the team and operating from a number of different locations, you immediately widen the pool of potential staff members.”
Supplied by Irvine Partners PR.