The Great Reopening: Should I Reopen My Physical Office

physical office vs virtual office

COVID-19 vaccinations are setting the stage for a great reopening. With cases falling by the day in most states—South Carolina has done particularly well for the region!—more businesses have started asking an important question: 

Should we reopen our physical office?

Pros and Cons: Physical Office vs Virtual Office

On the one hand, you don’t want to put anyone at risk by rushing your return. On the other hand, everyone wants to get back to normal life. At the moment, there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer to the question. There are some pros and cons to weigh before you make a decision, though.

Pro: In-Person Collaboration Gets Results

Employees have been surprisingly productive while working from home, but nothing replaces the benefits of in-person collaboration. By coming back to the office, your team members can start pursuing new projects, exploring opportunities for growth, streamlining their workflows, and finishing tasks they could not work on remotely.

Face-to-face collaboration gets results. Remote work made business possible, but it can’t replace in-person collaboration.

Con: You May Need to Upgrade Your Office for Increased Safety

COVID-19 cases have fallen, but most states still report hundreds of cases each day. The virus hasn’t disappeared. It just affects fewer people because so many have gotten vaccinated.

Unfortunately, some of your employees might not choose to get the vaccine, and retirees—in other words, the people who won’t be coming back to work—are the most highly vaccinated group in the U.S. Only about 61% of people ages 18 to 24 have been vaccinated. A similar percentage of the 25 to 39 age group have received a vaccine.

Because of this, you may need to make a few upgrades to your office to lower the risk of infection. That could mean spending money on partitions, air filtration systems, and better ventilation.

Pro: People WANT to Get Back to Their Workplaces

Working from home has been difficult for a lot of people, especially parents who need to juggle multiple responsibilities. The fact of the matter is that people really want to get back to their workplaces. One poll finds that:

  • 61% of employees miss workplace conversations.
  • 42% miss the structure that an office brings to their lives.
  • 40% miss enjoying lunch and happy hour with coworkers.
  • 37% want to escape “kid-terruptions” during the workday.

The general feeling is that pandemic restrictions have gone on long enough, and people are tired of living in isolation.

Con: You May Face New IT Concerns

Cyberattacks increased significantly during 2020. Hopefully, you found tools and strategies that protected your business from data breaches and other crimes.

As people come back to the office, you may find that you face a new list of IT concerns. With more malware targeting small businesses, you have to wonder whether you have the right security in place to defeat attackers.

Criminals saw the pandemic as an opportunity. They will view the return to work as an equally irresistible opportunity.

Managed IT Services Can Help When You’re Ready to Reopen

When comparing a physical office vs a virtual office, the decision can be tough. But there are a lot of great benefits of both.

When you and your staff feel ready to reopen your physical office, consider getting managed IT services that can improve your security and productivity. Managed IT services can help you answer questions about topics like how to meet the needs of employees who keep working from home and what contactless payment options suit the needs of your location.

Even if you’re planning to continue working remotely, getting help from a trusted MSP is a great idea to sustain business growth. An MSP can ensure your organization is prepped for the incoming challenges of “The Great Reopening”—including how customers and your competition are responding.

Set up a meeting with Stasmayer today so we can help you address issues before you reopen. The more you prepare now, the better everyone will feel when they come back to the office.