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11.17.21- SSI – Robert Archer

The new work from home trend presents a huge opportunity for residential security dealers/integrators to offer not only security but also home automation and communications solutions.

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As the dust of COVID-19 begins to settle, we are getting a clearer picture of what the new workplace will look like. It should be noted that it wasn’t easy getting here. It took a little over a year after the onset of the pandemic for vaccines to be widely available to the American public.

In addition to the health of its citizens, the government also had to keep its economy afloat. And the government knows the best way to ensure the health of the economy is to make sure unemployment is low and consumers are spending money.

Trying to get out in front of any disastrous effects that are the result of the pandemic, the Biden administration asked that teachers get prioritized for vaccinations to allow parents at home with kids to return to the workforce.

Overlooked in the sudden rush to get Americans back working is one of the few benefits of the coronavirus, which the country — no make that the world — learned that employees can productively work from home. But what will the workforce will look like once life has returned to some level of normalcy?

According to a report from management consulting group McKinsey & Company, as much as 20% to 25% of the workforces in “advanced economies” could remain as work from home (WFH) employees three-five days a week. The report also states that these WFH estimates are four-five times higher than WFH numbers prior to COVID-19 quarantining.

As the WFH market grows and matures, it is natural to expect large retailers, including Staples, Best Buy and Amazon to dedicate resources to marketing WFH products. It’s likely the products these mass-market retailers will offer will likely range from traditional devices such as computers and printers, to basic routers, network switches, web cameras and paper shredders.

Residential security dealers/integrators have the ability to take WFH to the next level and offer a much higher level of efficiency and productivity. Because of the industry’s ability to deliver more personalized products, integrators can offer newer, more ergonomically friendly solutions such as display mounts and standing desk components, as well as more powerful unified communications (UC) systems.

In the slideshow, 14 solutions are presented for integrators to sell that can help customers meet their WFH needs. Below are tips on what dealers/integrators can do to lure their own employees back into working onsite — at least some of the time.

View 14 Solutions to Help Clients Meet Work From Home Needs

10 Ways to Convince Reluctant Employees to Return to the Office

With COVID-19 cases falling and the vaccine readily available across the U.S., some employers have realized having people in the office is better for business. Some employees are happy to come back, but others are not as willing. What’s an employer to do?

You could force people to come back, but you don’t want to lose good employees — and it’s better for everyone if people don’t come back begrudgingly.

“We all know the old-school command-and-control style of leadership doesn’t work any longer, and that includes the issue of determining where people work,” says workplace trends expert and author Rick Grimaldi. “Instead of dragging employees back against their will, it’s better to entice them with a collaborative, happy, innovative work environment they can’t resist.”Related:How to Help Your Customers Come Back to Work With Visitor Management

Here are a few tips from Grimaldi for integrators to convince reluctant employees to return to the office:

1. Be sure everyone understands the “why.” Be very clear about your reasons for bringing people back to the office. When you level with them about your reasoning instead of giving a command with no explanations, people are more likely to respect those reasons and comply.

2. If you have changed your mind, address that. Some companies are just now seeing the value of having people in the office. Be honest about this. They will appreciate your candor.

3. Make your workplace a place they want to be. Employees don’t want to work in offices with bad cultures. Focus on building collegiate, close-knit, trusting, inclusive and uplifting teams that inspire a sense of belonging in people. When people feel they have a “tribe” they will want to come to work.

4. Add policies that make sense for today’s workplace. Jettison those that don’t. Organizations found ways to digitally transform overnight, companies shifted to remote work, and flexed to stay afloat. Figure out which of the new practices that you adopted during the pandemic are worth maintaining — and which old practices you can let go for good.

5. Talk with people one-on-one to understand their hesitancy to come back to the office. A candid discussion with individual employees can help you dig deeper to find out why they may not want to return. Once you understand their reservations, you may be able to help them manage their concerns or solve the problem.

6. Make a case for mentoring opportunities. Young workers will benefit from the incredible wisdom and experience of senior employees, and more seasoned workers can rely on millennials and Gen Zers to help them develop digital skills, learn to use social media for marketing campaigns and adjust to an increasingly diverse and inclusive work environment.

7. Play up the return of trust. Without daily face-to-face interactions, people never get to know their colleagues and build strong relationships. But spending time with colleagues at work allows for the informal exchanges that help people get to know one another and eventually build trust.Related:How to Navigate Workplace Vaccine Requirements

8. Highlight the power of in-person collaboration. Chances are your employees aren’t getting a lot of chances to collaborate remotely. The best brainstorming and innovation happens in person — and anyone who wants to hustle and harness that creative energy will be eager to show up in person to do so.

9. Offer more flexibility around when and where people work. Many emplo0yees have gotten used to being able to pick up their kids from school or take an aging parent to medical appointments. Naturally, they don’t want to give this up. The solution may be to offer a hybrid model that allows people to be in the office part-time and remote part-time.

10. Make workplace safety a top priority. Even though vaccinations have driven down COVID-19 cases nationwide, employees are still concerned about safety at work. A focus on safety not only helps companies prevent disability and discrimination claims and avoid OSHA fines, it sets them up to recruit and retain top talent.

“Not only will these strategies entice people to come back to the office more quickly, they will also help your organization attract top talent,” says Grimaldi. “When you make your business a place people want to work, you are more likely to maintain the competitive edge that leads to innovation, creativity and success.”