Do We Really Need Them To Come In To The Office? It's time to let them work from home.

A few days ago, as I watched yet another news piece on the Covid-19 pandemic (yes, it’s now a pandemic), my well-meaning daughter tried to console me with the idea that this virus acts as a mild flu.

About the same time, a friend questioned my decision to delay a workshop I was planning to hold at the end of this month. Once she became aware of my very real health concerns she, of course, understood my decision but not really my perception of the severity of this health crisis. (She does now, and actually told me she thinks I was ahead of the curve.)

Today, I read a post on LinkedIn, written by Susan Cain, about this very topic. In this post, she stated “We are at a critical inflection point”. I couldn’t agree more.

We are at a point where we all, as leaders, managers, and individual contributors, have to band together to determine how business can continue when people don’t want to gather in boardrooms, in workshops, in conferences, and in open work spaces.

This presents business with an interesting opportunity.

Most companies are well aware of the idea to ask their employees to work from home. While this presents some relief from Corona Virus, it adds to concerns about another type of virus – computer viruses, and the accompanying information security concerns. These are very real concerns that have led many companies to decide, in the past, to not let their people work remotely. At a time like this, what is the more pressing concern? Do the benefits outweigh the costs?

· It’s long been known that employees really want the flexibility to work from home. The payoff for employers is a considerable boost in productivity.

· There is reduced cost to employers when their people work remotely. If this is an on-going policy, companies find themselves paying less in office space rental. Even if this policy is only for the duration of the pandemic, there will still be cost savings in coffee and other on-site benefits, as fewer (if any) people are using them.

· On the other hand, allowing employees to work off-site presents concerns about securing technology and personal cust