In mid-March of last year, everything changed. In some instances, employees went from working in an office to working at their dining room tables overnight. When COVID-19 hit, many companies had to make the difficult choice to send their people home and continuing their work remotely. Boardroom meetings and conversations in the office were replaced by video conferencing with Zoom and Go To Meeting, and remote management software for remote project management became the hot ticket item to keep teams working collaboratively.
At first there was panic around how operations would continue remotely, but many businesses were up and running at full power quite quickly. In some cases, leaders found their teams to be even more productive due to in-office distractions being removed.
Field service, which in many states and provinces was considered to be an essential service, also went through its challenges. Field service, as the name suggests, is predominantly in the field. It is being done in office buildings and commercial settings with person-to-person inter- action. And then COVID-19 hit and that, much like many of the working relationships across many businesses, changed as well.
According to a Stanford University research paper, by June of 2020, 42 percent of the U.S. labor force was working from home full-time, while 26 percent continued to work on-site. They even said that the swift move to a remote working model saved the economy from a collapse. And now more companies are looking at remote as a way to cut overhead costs on things such as rent and office expenses, while gaining more productivity from their employees, and giving them greater flexibility in their working conditions.