The coronavirus pandemic and anxiety among the populace have made competition for top talent more fierce than ever. Many companies vehemently resisted work-from-home models for years. "It won't work" and "it can't work" were the most common excuses despite research pointing to myriad benefits to both companies and workers.
A study by Stanford researchers found that telecommuters are 13% more productive than their in-office counterparts. IBM pioneered mass telecommuting when it moved 40% of its global workforce to their living rooms by 2009. The company saved $100 million per year by vastly reducing office space, overhead, and other expenses, according to the Society of Human Resource Management. Furthermore, applications like Asana, Slack and Basecamp easily facilitate work-from-home models with communication channels that mimic physical presence in the office.
COVID-19 forced companies to move their workforces home. Many organizations are reaping those foregoing benefits and contemplating permanent work-from-home models. Twitter announced in early May that its employees can work-from-home "forever." Google announced that most of its employees will continue working from home until at least 2021. A Gartner survey from this past March found that 74% of companies will move at least some workers to permanent work-from-home models this year.
Competition for top talent was already tough in localized regions like the Bay Area, known by many as the tech capital of the world. But with more companies sticking to their forced work-from-home models, competition is now truly global. American workers are competing with prospects from India, China and Europe. Meanwhile companies that are hanging on to traditional work models have their work cut out for them to attract and retain top talent.
Office furniture and office design are more important than ever, particularly for Bay Area companies with traditional work models. Most people would rather work from home than drive to the office everyday. It's important to keep your office design and furniture up-to-date to ensure a fighting chance against the new norm of telecommute positions.
This one is kind of obvious, but needs to be said. The general rule of thumb: if it looks dated, replace it. Some companies get many years out of their office furniture and continue using it for convenience sake. Office furniture is the first impression potential talent sees from an employer. Invest in your office furniture the same way you do in talent.
Health is a primary concern for both employers and workers. The previous wants to save on insurance costs. The latter wants a high quality of life outside the workplace. Ergonomic office furniture serves two purposes. It keeps workers comfortable and thus more productive. It also shows workers that you genuinely care about their well-being, potentially compelling them to be more loyal to the company.
The debate continues as it relates to open office furniture and layouts. COVID-19 forced companies into telecommuting models. Many more also ditched open office layouts in the process. Keeping open office layouts is possible by retrofitting desks and cubicles with plexiglass barriers. This retains the open office feel, while helping companies comply with social distancing and other coronavirus-related mandates.
Eco Office is the premier used office furniture dealer in the Bay Area. We are also the go-to source for all things plexiglass and office partitions that help companies comply with state mandates. Give us a call today at 408-437-1700 to discuss your office design and furniture needs.