LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The pandemic had millions of people working from home and now that things are getting back to normal, is it time to head back to the office? 13 Action News anchor Todd Quinones looks at the changes coming to the American workforce.
"We're an essential business and my team was working from their houses," says Patrick Casale with The Multicare Group.
Like so many companies, The Multicare Group near U.S. 95 and Alexander Road, had its employees making phone and Zoom calls from home over the last year. Casale says on one level, remote work has been good for some agents at his insurance firm.
COMING & GOING
"I think the freedom of coming and going the way we're doing it right now, may make us more productive. I think that the workforce would prefer that... I really believe in the business world that sometimes micromanagement burns people out," says Casale.
Casale says remote work is also appealing for some, from a financial standpoint.
"I got to tell you, my business partner wanted me to get rid of the office. Save the money. I thought about it. I gave it a lot of thought," says Casale.
But Casale says it's actually NOT a move he wants to make.
"In the insurance industry especially, people want to know who they're buying their insurance from," says Casale.
KEEP AN OFFICE
Casale believes it's a smart move, keeping an office where clients can find you. It's just one way he separates himself from big competitors.
"It's a push-button business. How many people get upset waiting five minutes to finally get a real person? Well if we do the same thing here, we lose that personal touch," says Casale.
DEPENDS ON INDUSTRY
Maggie Harris with Harris Coaching and Consulting believes the success of remote work, really depends on the industry.
"I think it's working in some environments. I hate to come back with such a wishy-washy answer, to say it depends. But honestly, it does," says Harris.
Harris says there are a number of factors companies must consider. First, a business needs to know what its employees want.
"Part of it is really having conversations with the employees and if you had that conversation with employees, acknowledge the input that they're providing you," says Harris.
Do companies also need to decide how they plan to measure their success?
"Are they measuring how much people are working? Or are they measuring the output? Because that 9 to 5 or that 8 to 5 day for a typical organization, not counting the gaming companies, is really going away," says Harris.
Employees might be getting their work done from home, but it may look a little different.
"They can work, do a meeting, go do a load of laundry and empty the dishwasher," says Harris.
If companies do decide to let employees work from home, Harris says it's important to make sure they're not being overlooked.
JUDGEMENT & ASSUMPTION
"If I don't see them working, I don't know they're working and there's a bias that kicks in, judgment and assumption. So leaders really need to check how they are approaching this," says Harris.
To avoid that, she suggests people at every level need to be working from home at least part of the time.
"If you're going to be hybrid, as an executive you need to be hybrid too. It can't come off as the higher the position, the more you get paid, the leadership will still be in the office. But all the other people who aren't as important can be hybrid," says Harris.
Even after a year of remote working, Harris believes it will take another 12 to 18 months of testing the process, for companies to know what's best for them. But there's one thing that many seem to agree on: work will never be the same.
TEST THE PROCESS
"It will never look like it did two years ago and organizations that believe it will, I think are going to suffer greatly," says Harris.
Patrick says his firm had to make changes during the pandemic and its flexibility that will continue to keep them in business.
"Especially now in 2021 after COVID, change is going to be the new word for every agency or every business. If you're not up on the changes, you're in trouble. You'll fail," says Casale.