Working From Home


Written by CMG News Contributor, Doug Carleton

Working from home? More traffic in stores?

I had planned to do a post on branding today (I’ll get to it later) but then I saw an article in the Wall Street Journal last week titled “Ford Grabs Chance to Rethink Offices.” What Ford told thousands of employees – around 30,000 in the Dearborn area, was to come in and clean their offices out – everything, and take it home to work from home. Nobody is losing their job or being furloughed. What Ford is doing is rethinking what office life will look like after the pandemic begins to wane and people can start coming back to work. Many large companies have found that working at home has been more productive and feasible than previously thought, and some – Twitter for example, have told employees that they can work from home indefinitely. Ford is planning ahead.

We are all reading about the large number (some say millions) of people who are suffering from low-grade depression from sudden and prolonged lack of human contact because of the pandemic. Picture the woman whose children are asleep. She sneaks out of the house after dark and goes to her favorite restaurant where she used to regularly meet with friends. She stands there looking longingly into the darkened restaurant and at the outside tables where they used to sit. Unfortunately, it is snowing. No more sitting outside and possibly no more restaurant because outside seating had been what was keeping the restaurant alive and now winter is here.

Buying things online has been great – same as it had been before the pandemic, but having to buy everything online was getting old. So she finally says “(fill in the blank) it. I’m going to a store where I can actually talk to a real person, see or feel the merchandise, and just experience the ambience. I’m going to buy a new (fill in the blank again) and if it’s a little more expensive I don’t care. It’s worth it to be there talking to and seeing other people.” Could it be that thousands of people who have been stuck at home may start going out to stores a little more, helping many small businesses keep going until real improvement begins to show?

Maybe?

This blog entry is a slightly edited excerpt from Doug Carleton's 'The Daily Life Of A Small Business Owner' series. Doug was a mentor with SCORE, Startup Virginia, and Lighthouse Labs, and has 25+ years of experience in small business finance including 12 years in SBA lending. To contact Doug directly, please email him at sbaloanspecialist@comcast.net.

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