Five months ago, the world as we knew it changed. Almost overnight, businesses were forced to close, or if they were lucky, they could transition to working remotely. As a cloud-based accountant, we were fortunate to have already developed workflows that allowed our team to work from our office or home. For most people, the idea of working from home, probably sounded too good to be true. Unfortunately, they were all about to learn the hard way exactly what that entailed.
Before working with Parkway Business Solutions, all my jobs required me to go into the office, so I never considered how difficult it could be to work from home. I remember thinking about how much more efficient I would be and how much gas money I would save each month. Fast forward two months, and reality had finally sunk in, there were way too many distractions in my house that allowed me to procrastinate on the work I needed to complete. It took me close to six months to finally setup my home office, establish a work schedule and eventually overcome my need for things to be spotless in my house before I could even get started for my day.
After the newness of working from home began to wear off, I realized that I missed the separation between working hours and off-hours but, more importantly, I missed the social interaction. Just as I settled into my new work from home cycle, my business partner and I decided it was time for us to set up an office space to facilitate hiring new employees. Ironically, after working from home for a couple of years, transitioning back to working from an office was just as difficult. Previously, I could schedule meetings for 8:00 am due to the short commute from the bedroom to the living room, but now I had to plan travel time in both directions. Besides losing time commuting, our efficiency also took a hit as we learned how to network our different computers so we could access any document regardless of where we were working that day.
As we approach the sixth month of working from home, I imagine many workers cannot wait to return to the office and leave their life as a remote worker as a distant memory in the past. The immediate increase of team efficiency experienced at the beginning of the COVID pandemic has likely diminished. In some cases, team efficiency may have dropped below as parents struggle to balance their children’s educational needs and the tasks required by their job.
If you think about it, this struggle between onsite vs remote work seems to parallel another battle faced by accountants all the time, Desktop vs. Online. There is no doubt about it, the past couple of months have made cloud-based software a much more attractive solution, but before you switch from desktop to the cloud, think back on my experience and search for a hybrid solution to your workflow challenge. As efficient as the cloud may appear, be sure you are not giving up powerful features only available in Desktop and Enterprise that may be vital to your company’s success. Instead of transitioning away from a desktop environment, add QBox and Vendorsync into your current workflow and take advantage of the best of both worlds. I mean, who would not like the option to choose if they wanted to work from home or the office each day!