As vaccination rates increase, companies are currently being challenged to reopen their offices. One model being examined is the implementation of a hybrid workplace where workers will work both remotely and onsite. Unfortunately, the emergence of the Delta variant could play havoc on return-to-work plans.
A hybrid workplace offers the current work force flexibility. Economists, project 20% of work will be done from home in light of numerous studies indicating remote workers have been more productive. A recent survey of 5,000 employed adults across the U.S. found 4 out of 10 workers expect some remote work type of arrangement. Regardless of what happens, I project there will be the COVID-19 domino collapse detailed below of ancillary businesses:
- Formal business dress codes (suits & ties, dresses, shoes) replaced by casual attire (a.k.a. casual Friday – 5 days a week).
- Food & beverage sales, especially lunch which before the pandemic was the number one restaurant daypart meal (note: martini lunches).
- Office coffee services.
- The water cooler business.
- Transportation services including revenue generated from highway tolls.
- Cleaning services & supplies.
- The conference business and all the associated travel and entertainment businesses.
- Personal grooming (as in hair salons, old fashion barber shops).
- Shoe polish, professional shoe shiners in airports.