Managers are concerned that remote work decreases employees’ sense of connection and want to bring them back to the office. In this remote work environment, many employees are “bombarded” with messages from recruiters and friends, attempting to lure them elsewhere, says Rob Falson, Vice Chairman of Prudential Financial. “When they’re in the workplace, I think they have a broader sense of connection to the platform, to the culture of the organization – their fellow employees, their teams- that make them less likely to leave.”  The longer people stay at home, the more Mr. Falzon worries about employees feeling disconnected. “My single greatest concern is around talent,” he said. “As individuals disassociate themselves with their organizations from a cultural standpoint, it becomes increasingly easy for them to make decisions to leave and go elsewhere.”

Yet despite this desire to bring teams back to the office, the recent surge in Delta variant cases has forced Prudential and other companies to delay office reopening.  And the longer Covid-19 keeps people home, the harder it may be to get them back to offices.  “If you have a little blip, people go back to the old way.  Well, this ain’t a blip, there is no going back.” according to Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel Corp who was also cited in the article.  This sentiment echoes what I hear every day from business leaders who continue to grapple with striking the right balance between safety, productivity, and overall job satisfaction as they attempt to bring their employees back into the office.  Providing the option of in office, remote, or hybrid work environments has become the modern-day equivalent to the 401k matching plans and stock option packages that were such popular recruiting perks in the past.

For me, this article really highlights the one constant we’ve had throughout this pandemic – uncertainty.  But uncertainty isn’t conducive to developing a long-term strategy to adequately address the issue of how to attract and retain talent while working remotely.  Some employers, including Gusto, a benefits and human-resources technology company, say they have reduced anxiety around office reopening’s by providing assurances that employees will be able to select how they work – and change their minds over time.  As an IT procurement advisor, I help my clients solve their business challenges with technology, and the COVID-19 Pandemic has served to underscore the increasing importance of leveraging the right technology to remain competitive and retain employees. After the initial rush to the cloud for remote workforce enablement, the biggest challenge I’ve helped my clients overcome is maintaining the productivity and engagement levels of their remote teams.

In 2020 most organizations assumed a VOIP phone system and a web conferencing tool such as WebEx or Zoom would suffice, and it probably would have had the pandemic ended with “2 weeks to flatten the curve”.  Now that it’s clear COVID-19 will continue to be an issue for the foreseeable future, business leaders are desperate to figure out how to maintain productivity levels as well as retain talent without bringing their teams back into the office.  Bridging this gap entails more than just VOIP phones and a web conferencing platform.  It requires upgrading and securing networks, deploying and managing endpoints, maintaining and troubleshooting those endpoints, gaining visibility into employee activity and productivity, ensuring adoption of new technologies, reducing administrative burden, and, crucially, right-sizing SaaS spend to eliminate waste.

Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate the risks for employers while providing a supportive, and satisfying experience for employees by simply leveraging the right technology stack. And the good news is you don’t have to go it alone.  My team and I are here to help you put the right solutions in place to ensure you are positioned to attract and retain talent whether they are in the office, working remotely, or somewhere in between.  We’ll also architect a futureproof network that will enable you to deploy and manage critical endpoints securely and efficiently, and we’ll do it all at no additional cost to you.

If you’re wrestling with any of these challenges, let’s have an informal chat and start putting together an IT optimization strategy for your business. Here’s my calendar link to make finding time easy.