Embracing What’s to Come
by Amanda Wilkie, Consultant
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken to a lot of CIOs and other firm leaders about how they’re managing current events and having all of their team members working from home. Marc Staut and I shared takeaways from some of those discussions in this video. Here, I want to take a deeper dive into one topic that came up in nearly every conversation: we’re not going back to the way things were. And that’s okay.
Arguments against remote work are disappearing
No matter how far technology has become or how many studies have shown work from home policies improve productivity and retention and reduce costs, some firm leaders have held out.
Now, with the majority of their staff successfully working from home, they’re being forced to agree that working remotely can be done. People can be productive, and clients can enjoy the same quality of service, even if the delivery is a little different.
Cloud-based technology investments are paying off
Firms that have been implementing cloud-based or hosted infrastructure technologies have seen the tools they invested in making the transition from on-premises to work-from-home easier. This is especially true for those that already had unified communication platforms (chat, video conferencing, and email in a one-stop-shop.)
In many cases, these tools were implemented in the last several years, but many firms haven’t had wide-scale adoption. Now, they’re really seeing the benefits of those investments as these technologies allow them to stay connected and support collaboration while working remotely.
Connections can be created anywhere
Faced without any alternatives, accounting, advisory and consulting professionals are making more of an effort to collaborate with coworkers and clients remotely. Phone calls, emails and in-person meetings used to be comfortable ways to communicate. In-person connections aren’t possible, but we still recognize the importance of building and maintaining relationships. Even people who hate seeing themselves on video have to bite the bullet of they want to be there in a meaningful way for clients.
In many firms, this will be a significant shift. It requires them to change their plans for hardware, software tools, and support strategies. However, the extra work is worth it if it helps brings your team and clients together to create a more personal connection.
Firms may need much less real estate in the future
Your firm’s technology costs will rise as you invest to support this new more remote working environment. However, there’s one area where firms can reduce overhead: office space.
If firms determine that having a majority of team members working from home is more or less business as usual, they may rethink the amount of office space they need. They could even question whether they need a physical presence at all.
Managing Partners whose office lease is up in the next couple of years might want to consider whether they need as much office space. Now is a good time to start thinking about an office hoteling strategy to make the most of the area they’ll have while also considering the sanitation and social distancing guidelines that will likely be in place for the foreseeable future.
The CIOs and other firm leaders I speak to agree that we’re not going back to the way things used to be. So rather than thinking about how we’re going to get through the current situation, think about how you’ll embrace what’s to come. Very shortly, things like work-from-anywhere, cloud-based technology, and virtual connections won’t be a competitive advantage – they’ll be table stakes. Are you ready to buy in?
Does your firm need help evolving its business model?
We can help your firm develop a phased and systematic approach through positive transformation. Schedule a Discovery Call with one of our Solutions Advisors and get on the path to take new and improved services to the marketplace.
Amanda Wilkie, Consultant at Boomer Consulting, Inc., has a computer science background, but she’s not your average geek. With two decades of technology experience, Amanda has spent 13 years driving change and process improvement through innovative technology solutions working across firms of varying sizes in the public accounting profession. She has held strategic leadership positions in firms ranging from Top 50 to Top 10 including her most recent role as CIO of a Top 30 firm. Amanda is a recognized expert in the profession who regularly speaks and writes on blockchain and cryptocurrency and their impact on the profession.