Working from home was supposed to be temporary, but now Americans may wonder “will office buildings be a thing of the past?” That’s not entirely likely, but analysts are watching businesses evolve beyond brick and mortar for the foreseeable future.
Many are extending their work from home periods for employees as COVID-19 continues. However, some major tech giants have already committed to letting their employees permanently punch the clock at home. Locally, The South Dakota chapter of the American Cancer Society is, for now, giving up its office building.
Melissa McCauley with the American Cancer Society spent part of Tuesday afternoon outside of The Breaks in Downtown Sioux Falls. It may look like she’s on a coffee break, but the work is percolating. Coffee shops are becoming even more standard as conference rooms for employees working from home.
“I’m able to maintain and continue on making connections, building up our community for the American Cancer Society,” McCauley said.
McCauley and her co-workers with the American Cancer Society have been out of the office since last spring. That won’t be changing any time soon, because McCauley says the organization is giving up its Sioux Falls building and doubling down on the idea working from home is here to stay for a while.
“I do think this is going to be a trend for a lot of companies. Not just non-profits,” McCauley said.
Companies all over the country are giving up their office spaces and switching to working from home either permanently or until the pandemic ends. In the long run, this evolution may help them save a lot of money and reduce unnecessary costs right now. The obvious savings is rent.
“For me, it’s what you make it to be,” David Benson with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said.
Benson says he likes the flexibility, but says working from home does come with challenges that may not exist at the office.
“The biggest challenge I have is that looming presence which is dirty dishes that I feel like I need to get to. Often times, it just means it’s a break for me,” Benson said.
McCauley says this isn’t a permanent change for the American Cancer Society and this doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have office space in Sioux Falls in the future. The office may no longer look the way is used to. Whether it’s a cubicle, home or at the coffee shop; McCauley says walls around them don’t matter, because the mission to support people going through cancer continues.
“A building is a building, but we’re still making the changes and being positive for our communities,” McCauley said.