Should you continue working remotely or hurry back to your offices once the pandemic is over? With nearly 50% of the US workforce going remote due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, working remotely has been steadily becoming a new normal for multiple industries worldwide.

Similarly, accounting firms that embraced remote working options before the pandemic may now be looking to continue this new working environment. However, some might still prefer conventional office operations.

Remote Working - Should Your Accounting Firm Still Have An Office?

So, before you decide to accept the remote working setup or start working from your office again, let’s have a look into the difference in the setups these two offers:

Remote Working

While working remotely was seen as nothing but an idea a few decades back, recent technological innovations have finally made it possible. From 2005 to 2017, a 159% increase in remote work was a significant sign of its increasing popularity. It has several advantageous and disadvantageous, which comes into play when you work remotely:

Pros

Increased Productivity

One of its most touted benefits, working remotely has shown a significant increase in an organization’s productivity. When an employee works from home, they can avoid commuting to the office and reduce absenteeism.

Also, a relatively quieter and comfortable environment at home improves their concentration, allowing them to work more efficiently.

Lesser Expenses

When your employees are working remotely, you don’t have to invest considerably in office-related expenses like maintenance of the workplace, procurement of office stationery, setting up an IT infrastructure, etc. This allows you to save up your revenue and boosts your organization’s profits.

Improved Reach

Working remotely has dramatically increased your employees’ reach (as they can work without getting confined by the physical boundaries of their offices). Since everything is managed remotely, the stakeholders can also continue working remotely and enhance their reach by integrating technologies such as ‘cloud hosting’ for accessing favorite applications via the internet.

Cons

Security Concerns

One of the major concerns while working from home is security related to personal devices. While hosting your business applications on the cloud ensures premium security measures, the same cannot be said for personal devices.

If stored on personal gadgets, any critical corporate information has a high risk of being accessed and illicitly exposed.

Restricted Collaboration

When you are working remotely, you miss out on the interactions that come from being physically present at the office. There are lesser feelings of camaraderie involved with the minimal exchange of ideas. All of these factors can mentally isolate employees and stunt productivity.

Decreased Fitness

Although working remotely allows your employees to have flexible working hours, it can potentially disrupt their physical fitness. This results in irregular eating habits, frequent back pains, and mismanaged daily-life regimes. All this may significantly affect their work output and minimize efficiency at tasks.

Working At The Office

Before the coronavirus forced various firms to either work remotely or caused thousands of employees to lose their jobs and get stuck at home, many of them probably had a typical nine-to-five job. Working in the office has its various features due to which many multinational companies still prefer it over working remotely.

Pros

Overall Employee Development

When employees work at the office, they generally have more interpersonal interactions with their seniors and co-workers. This helps them blend seamlessly within the office environment, allowing them to bring in more togetherness and enhance teamwork while working together.

Better Time Management

While working remotely lets employees enjoy flexible working hours, it may also cause discontinuity between their workflow during collaboration. Being at the office means following the same time interval as everyone does. Thus you can synchronize your tasks without disrupting your workflow over any personal preferences for a time-slot.

Productive Collaboration

Working at the office results in increased interaction with fellow workers, boosting the understanding of the company’s goals. This allows the employees to be more creative and brainstorm ideas that can bring innovation to your organization. They can also bring their personal experience into play and help in improving efficiency at the workplace.

Cons

More Absenteeism

This is undoubtedly true for those employees who have a long daily-work commute. More absenteeism means an irregular division of workload among your employees, which impedes your organization’s work progress.

Increased Expenses

Having your employees working in the office means maintaining proper premises for them. You have to provide access to clean drinking water, adequate sanitation facilities, office stationery, physical security, and much more.

Limited Business Growth

When you work at the office, your employees and clients become limited within their physical boundaries. Since the majority of operations are office-centric, it may restrict your on-field performance. Also, it limits you from expanding yourself, as any subsequent branch extension requires a considerable setup investment.

Conclusion – The Need For A Hybrid Office Solution

A sudden transition can impede your accounting business growth, as it may take time to get familiar with remote working options. It is better to take one step at a time to ensure guaranteed success and more employee satisfaction.

The pros and cons mentioned above suggest taking a middle way out. Instead of going for a complete remote or in-office setup, it’s better to bring the best of both worlds together. You can move your entire setup to the cloud and still manage an office-space for discussing essential ideas together.

What are your thoughts on this? Would you continue remote work or planning to open the office? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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