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The pandemic will likely dramatically change the attitude of many people toward working remotely That is suggested by reports of individuals participating a recent roundtable of members of the Information Technology Alliance.

Moreover, many employees said they were more productive remotely, although some of the participants reported the opposite. The participants generally found strong demand for remote work, especially among younger workers. Reports about client statements and practices at their own employers also suggests many businesses are banning outside visitors after reopening

Dan Kraus, VP of global sales and marketing for SAP reseller, Vision33, reported strong demand for working at home among the business’ 250 employees. “There are only 7 to 10 percent who want to come back,” he said “That probably surprised my CEO who has been a proponent of being in the office.”

Most said their workers have not returned to their offices and most organizationsare not allowing business travel, except under strict conditions. Jan Goodman, who is in sales and project management solutions for Lancaster Pa.-based RKL eSolutions, noted most workers in her firm were working from home before the quarantine. Goodman, who is based in Fountain Hills, Ariz., said RKL has largely barred travel to client sites.

The firm has a survey for clients to complete before employees are allowed to visit. “It takes several levels of approval,” Goodman said. “We have been told it will rare if not never an employee will be authorized to go to a client site.

Jeff Roth, VP of strategic alliances for Avalara, noted sales people are not returning to the office. “There will be a slow trickle returning. There will be a ranking of who can return,” he said.

About 70 percent of Avalara’s employees “were fine with working at home”. The sales tax software company has formed groups to deal with issues.  These include one dedicated to being effective working at home; another is an advocacy group for those who were working at home before the crisis.

Business travel is optional. “If a customer says ‘You must travel” we are allowed to say “you don’t,’” Roth said. 

Besides reports of ban on visits, most said their employers are providing various kinds of sanitation tools. Lynn Henslee, president of reselling firm, e2b Teknologies, said her organizations purchased two washable masks for each worker, sanitation supplies for every desk “and sneeze guards for areas where they may be too close.

However, she commented many employees may not need all the precautions because “most people in our company have their own offices.”

One apparently novel approach was that of Business Technology Partners, Todd Perlman, president of the Deerfield, Ill.-based unit It has taken additional office space because of the expected need for social distancing

The firm has cleaners visiting every day. But most employees who are hoteling “are wiping down anyway,” he said.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
Last modified on Thursday, 18 June 2020
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