What’s the “new normal” for NYC offices in the COVID-19 era?
If you’re like me, you’re getting sick and tired of the “new normal.” I’m sick of hearing it because I’d like to see it happen already. The waiting game is so April 2020 already. We can envision more face masks of course, but what about tech. How will companies handle technology in the living COVID-19 era? How can you and your office prepare?
First, I’d like to share what some of our clients are doing. These are the clients where we have set up their office network and provide periodic IT maintenance. Most of our clients are within Manhattan and have about 20 – 50 staff members. A very prominent music agency has decided to ditch its expensive Manhattan rented office and work out of a Dobbs Ferry warehouse. Cheaper rent, closer to home, minimal commute, and better quality of life…well, that’s the hope. This is the extreme case that we hear. Can’t blame them escaping and running out of Dodge.
Action Plan: How have we helped the NYC escapees connect with tech?
Solution: We’ve migrated on-premise servers to the cloud.
We’ve set up online cloud server accounts, Office 365, Sharepoint, and other mediums to get them de-cabled from the classic office environment. We’ve set up chat programs, whiteboards, messaging apps, video conferencing, and other customized ways to keep the staff connected virtually. You know, we’ve set up IT office services how they’ve always been intended, but weren’t used before. After the set up, these NYC escapees are able to breathe and relax. During the experience, it’s like spilling your guts to a therapist over a 1-month process. Not fun, uncomfortable, but somewhat uplifting when you get to the solution. And a way to give the birdie to NYC..if that’s how you feel.
Action Plan: Get back to your office with more remote employees than before
Solution: Cutting costs is the name of the game.
Sure, your PPP and other miscellaneous loans and grants may have been awarded, but you still need to operate lean and mean.
Action Plan: Most of our clients have already gotten used to remotely working.
Solution: Yes, it’s certainly not at hundred percent with kids and school zooms disrupting the normal remote ops.
But, it’s a start and lots of company owners and VP’s are thinking of reducing rent by only taking smaller offices and having half or less of workers at home to start. Others are keeping their offices and paying less by decreasing phone lines, Internet speeds, worker’s comp policies, and supplies.
Action Plan: Full speed ahead. 100% occupancy back in the office.
Solution: Pending, CDC guidelines, a good portion of businesses are planning to operate as if the coronavirus never happened.
Obviously, you need to put your guard up for this awful virus so if you’re planning to go back 100% which is a great, please plan and don’t think it’s the “ME against the world” concept here. Your actions affect everyone else so please act responsibly.
Better Action Plan: Gear up on masks, hand sanitizer, and even digital 2-second reading thermometers.
Many offices have already sent cleaning crews to sanitize their offices already to prepare. This is a good idea as we are all anxious to get back to work.
What’s the ideal office model to go with when the Pause is over?
As with everything in life, there’s no one size fits all here. I think the objective of safety, cost cutting, and demand for your service or sales should drive what you do. Some companies are planning to tiptoe back with a hybrid remote and in-office model. Others are abandoning ship. Most plan to go back like business as usual. But, you have to decide where your priorities and objectives are.