In light of the company experiencing a dilemma of choosing between returning operations to complete brick and mortar or remaining partially remote, I will present views on both sides to show why the company should opt to remain partly remote.
Drawbacks to Remaining Partially Remote
The main drawback of remaining partially remote is that productivity may suffer as employees struggle to balance work with life at home. According to a recent study by Subramaniam et al. (2021), full-time employees who work from home report higher engagement and satisfaction levels. However, they also have more difficulty disconnecting from work and experience more work-family conflict. Home concerns may take much of the employee’s time, and hence less attention is given to essential work items (Subramaniam et al., 2021). It is hard to monitor the performance of employees when they work from home, and thus they can often take advantage to deliver work late and retire from work whenever they wish. This contributes to the lateness in work delivery and lowered productivity in general.
There could be a decrease in company morale as employees miss out on the social aspects of work and a full work experience. In-person interactions allow for better communication and collaboration, leading to a more positive work environment. Additionally, employees may feel isolated and disconnected from their coworkers if they cannot interact with them regularly. Partial remote work can disrupt team dynamics (Seetharaman, 2020). If some team members are in the office and some are not, it can be challenging to stay coordinated and on the same page.
Employees risk becoming isolated and disengaged from the company culture if they are not physically present in the office. This is because they will miss out on the day-to-day interactions that help to build and maintain company culture (Seetharaman, 2020). Additionally, employees not in the office may feel like they are not part of the team and that their voices are not being heard. This can lead to a feeling of isolation and disengagement.
Downfalls of Readopting Brick and Motor Model
The company would incur increased overhead costs associated with reopening and operating its brick-and-mortar locations. These costs would include things like rent, utilities, and maintenance. The company would also have to pay for furniture and office supplies. Currently, the company does not utilize 50% of its physical assets (Lorente-Martínez et al., 2021). Adopting a full-time physical employee working strategy would require the firm to pay for all costs associated with managing its assets.
It would have less flexibility if the company decided to move back to a brick-and-mortar model. The company would be tied down to the physical locations and less able to adapt to changes in the market (Lorente-Martínez et al., 2021). Companies must adapt quickly to changes to remain competitive in today’s ever-changing business environment.
By returning to a brick-and-mortar model, the company will no longer be seen as an innovator or leader in the business world. Instead, they will be viewed as a laggard forced to change due to an unforeseen event (Lorente-Martínez et al., 2021). This could lead to a loss of customers, as well as a loss of talent, as employees seek out more forward-thinking organizations.
Negative Implication to Stakeholders
By returning to a brick-and-mortar model, the company will no longer be seen as an innovator or leader in the business world. Instead, they will be viewed as a laggard forced to change due to an unforeseen event (Seetharaman, 2020). This could lead to a loss of customers, as well as a loss of talent, as employees seek out more forward-thinking organizations.
Several reasons the company’s productivity will decrease in a brick-and-mortar setting. First, the employees will have to adjust to the new working environment. Many employees are used to working from home and must readjust to working in an office. This will lead to decreased productivity as employees will take time to get used to the new setting. Second, customers accustomed to being served online may be hesitant to return to the company’s brick-and-mortar locations (Lorente-Martínez et al., 2021). They may feel that the company’s online presence is more convenient or offers a better customer experience. Lastly, The company’s brand image may suffer due to returning to a brick-and-mortar model (Lorente-Martínez et al., 2021). Customers may perceive the company as being outdated or behind the times. This event will lead to lowered productivity of the company.
Lorente-Martínez, J., Navío-Marco, J., & Rodrigo-Moya, B. (2021). Are retailers leveraging in-store analytics? an exploratory study. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 50(5), 599–618.
Seetharaman, P. (2020). Business models shifts: Impact of covid-19. International Journal of Information Management, 54, 102173.
Subramaniam, R., Singh, S. P., Padmanabhan, P., Gulyás, B., Palakkeel, P., & Sreedharan, R. (2021). Positive and negative impacts of covid-19 in digital transformation. Sustainability, 13(16), 9470.