Let’s be honest. Two weeks ago, I strongly believed that most companies would manage to go back to their offices in a safe way, with reduced staff but still with the ability to build stable hybrid operations.
Two weeks ago, the number of Bookado Free Trial requests fell by 50% and we knew it signaled a change. A few days later, we observed drops on Google Analytics: the phrase “How to return to office” (blue line) became less popular and was succeeded by “When to return to office” (red line).
If we correlate these search results against the number of new confirmed infections in Germany (1.3K on 5th October compared to 4K on 8th October), in France (5K on 5th Oct; 18K on 8th Oct) and the UK (12.5K on 5th October; 17.5K on 8th October) then we see good reasons for companies showing prudence.
As we can read on the Internet, big enterprises like EY, Google, and Microsoft, as well as the smaller companies among our own clients, have decided to delay the hybrid return till the end of the year, or even to February 2021. This is understandable as January is a winter holiday month for many and is also ‘flu season, which doesn’t help at all. In general, it is much safer to start from February’21 with… well, with what?
We still have some more time to prepare and, since we speak with many companies around the world, we have some insights into their thoughts and plans.
Everyone agrees that it is rather not possible to go back to normal within the next half a year or even more. However, most of us are also aware that there are roles in organizations that simply have to be present in the office. Now we do not think about building a hybrid and safe environment for all of our people, but we must at least door best to protect those that have to be on-site and are facing a higher risk of infection.
Apart from solving that problem, we often hear what is important to our clients from the toolset perspective. They are currently looking for:
- Cheap and easy solution
- Scalability and ease to adjustment
- Fast deployment
- No long-term commitment
Clients are asking not only for a desk and rooms booking now, but also looking for mechanisms that somehow influence the process of booking to ensure a general increase in safety. Knowing that exact need, we are committed to delivering a solution soon.
Now it is more important than a year ago to ensure that we have confirmed and proven mechanisms in place that allow all of us to provide value to organizations. If you can, stay and work at home. Those having troubles working from home due to lack of infrastructure or simply because children make a lot of noise, have to be able to deliver value from the office.
The office should be prepared.
The office should reduce a risk of infection.