Employees working remotely is not a new concept. In fact, in 2019, 54 percent of U.S. workers worked remotely at least once per month, 48 percent work off-site at least once per week, and 30 percent work remotely full-time, according to a report from OWL Labs. However, the onset of COVID-19 has forced many employees and businesses to shift from working from the office to working from the home office. This new normal has seen some companies having to adapt to a change from managing four offices to managing 4,000 home offices almost overnight

While many thought they'd be back in their cubicles by now, the Delta Variant of COVID-19 has slowed those plans for many companies.

In August 2021, about 13% of employed people worked remotely because of the pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sure, this is a drop from  23.2% in January, however, the August numbers were nearly identical to July's, at 13.2% showing a steady rate of work-from-home employees.

In fact, while it reopened its offices in September 2021, accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, will allow all  40,000 US-based service employees to work virtually from anywhere in the United States, according to a CNN article.

According to an article on the Facility Executive website, 88 percent of organizations in a survey had encouraged or required their employees to work from home by March 17. And this may turn into a long-term thing as ZDNet reported a Gartner study revealed that three-quarters of CFOs surveyed plan on permanently moving at least 5 percent of past on-site employees to remote work after the COVID-19 crisis.

Technology makes the move more manageable

This is possible because cloud-based enterprise business systems have evolved and are now routinely used by remote workers. Virtual meetings, collaboration and project management software, and other enterprise solutions make doing business from home offices relatively seamless so long as the internet connection is good and security is tight.

As a result, many employees have been able to more easily transition to working from home offices while adhering to stay-at-home orders. However, performing some day-to-day functions is impossible in a virtual world. One of those functions is the shipping of physical items.

Ship from home office

Working from home and lacking a centralized mailroom or shipping department to manage outbound processes, employees not well-versed in logistics are forced to improvise when shipping documents and items to prospects, customers, and co-workers, some of whom used to be down the hall but are now located across town or even farther. Left on their own to manage even routine shipments, employees can waste time and money, while facing health risks standing in line at local post offices or carrier ship centers. In these circumstances, businesses can quickly lose enterprise visibility and control over expenditures and policies.

Download the eBook, “Business Continuity in the Age of COVID-19 Requires an Enterprise Approach to Ship from Home Office Solutions,” to learn how incorporating a cloud-based multi-carrier management solution provides businesses with a way to maintain centralized control while giving their employees the tools they need to ship efficiently, cost-effectively, and safely from their home offices.