Remote work has been not only feasible but preferable for many workers during the pandemic, prompting a paradigm shift in how many organizations operate.
Yet executive leaders face distinct challenges in a home office. They rely on professional spaces to hold sensitive discussions, meet with new business partners, and get work done. Those things can be hard to do from home.
And given talk of a “new normal,” many executives are likely wondering if a return to the old HQ will ever be possible. If you’re rethinking your organization’s headquarters, here’s what your leadership team needs to consider as the country’s office buildings begin to reopen.
The Challenges of Leading an Organization from Home
While it’s true that many employees can be productive from home, executive leaders have unique needs for security, privacy, and collaboration that are often not supported by home offices.
Executives depend on strong IT infrastructure to do their work. Secure, functional systems and devices are standard in any office setting, but at home, outdated virtual meeting applications and remote company asset management can make leaders more vulnerable to hardware and software failure, spam, viruses, and malicious attacks.
IT security reinforces privacy, but executives still need physically secure spaces to meet with clients, partners, and colleagues. A private office is a quiet, distraction-free place to work. It’s also a setting where an auditor managing sensitive data or an attorney having a confidential conversation doesn’t need to worry about being interrupted or intruded on. Not all home offices provide those conditions.
The physical layout of an office boosts collaboration that’s central to business, too. Even as applications like Zoom and Slack become effective stand-ins for in-person communication, virtual platforms can’t recreate the power of closing a deal, making an executive decision, or winning a new client while sitting together in the same room.
Even if you conclude that much of your team can continue to reasonably operate and communicate from home, your leadership may still need a headquarters.
The Return-to-Office Outlook
In many cities across the US, the return to the workplace is beginning, but it will be pretty different from what we were used to. Offices will need to make new accommodations for socially distanced work while still offering the best features of a shared workspace.
Executive teams considering what an office return will look like should familiarize themselves with the new CDC recommendations for workplaces. Individual best practices are:
- Wear face coverings at all times.
- Maintain six feet of distance from coworkers.
- Maintain rigorous personal hygiene.
- Minimize the use of public transportation.
The CDC also encourages office managers to take a number of steps to prevent the spread of disease, including:
- Eliminate communal gathering spots.
- Erect physical workspace barriers if distance isn’t possible.
- Keep the office well-ventilated.
- Provide routine office sanitation.
Firmspace currently has professional office spaces in Houston, Austin, and Denver, three cities that have started business reopening plans to various degrees. The Governor of Texas recently announced a Phase 3 reopening, and some businesses in Houston can operate at 25-percent capacity. Austin has similar guidelines, and Denver has allowed offices to reopen with a “safer at home” recommendation to all organizations.
A Professional Suite for Your C-Suite
Socially distanced in-office work that meets CDC and city-specific guidelines is possible, and it already exists in all of Firmspace’s offices. Our spaces meet all executive leaders’ needs for a new headquarters.
In our centrally located Firmspace office buildings, executives have access to all the resources that support security, privacy, and collaboration:
- Robust IT infrastructure.
- A calm environment for focused work, not a busy, shoulder-to-shoulder (and questionably sanitary) coworking space.
- Soundproof walls and closed doors for maximum privacy.
- Elegant office design to foster a sense of professionalism during important meetings.
- Suite options for core leadership teams.
To uphold the CDC’s safety best practices, we provide daily office cleaning and staff day porters to maintain hygiene in high-touch areas.
Your Next Headquarters in a Proworking Space
Our proworking spaces are designed for the hardworking executive, and they’ve been updated for our members’ protection and peace of mind during the pandemic. As you weigh the list of pros and cons of your leadership team returning to the office, keep in mind that safety and productivity are not mutually exclusive.