Many businesses limited the headaches they encountered when moving their employees to remote working. But now that more companies are asking workers to return to the office, new challenges are going to appear. Fortunately, the U.S. is among the countries whereby remote work is extremely possible, offering little no productivity loss in the majority of situations; this means businesses need to consider whether they’ll send all of their employees back to the traditional office setting or let some remain in their current remote environments.
A lot of companies will see only part of their staff returning to the office environment, while some will continue working from home permanently. The hybrid workplace that will be created from that adjustment may cause complications for legacy systems.
Though many businesses were able to head off problems when moving their employees remote, new challenges will pop up when half the staff is in the office. The new workplace will likely never by like the old one, at least for most companies.
This workplace will not be one where everyone is in the office, nor will it be one where everyone is at home — and the hybrid workplace isn’t something most companies are prepared for. Are legacy systems going to facilitate this adjustment, or hinder it?
The Creation of a Hybrid Workplace
The hybrid workplace on a grander scale is unique. Some companies have certainly moved to this model, well before the pandemic forced it on most of society. Those companies that had people working from home and from the office in the past will likely adapt well.
Companies that were planning on a hybrid arrangement or already working toward it may be well-suited to the adaptation, as well. But for companies that had no plans to have people working from home, but are now seeing that it’s unrealistic to bring everyone to the office, the change to a hybrid workspace is going to come with some growing pains.
Minimizing those issues is the key to success, of course, but understanding exactly how to do this may be something that is different for every company. It will also likely require trial and error, which can be expensive and stressful for companies during a time that is already difficult.
The right enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and system could make the transition easier, but only if the system is capable of handling what the company needs when operating in a hybrid workplace capacity. Companies that do not have this capability in their ERP systems are the ones who may find the new arrangement more difficult than expected.
The Hybrid Workplace’s Effect on Legacy Systems
Legacy ERP systems have generally all been designed to work with everyone in one place. They are company-wide and operational when a network of computers and other devices is connected together and planned out properly. They work well for this purpose and can help companies succeed.
But these legacy systems were also not designed to allow for employees’ home computers, phones, tablets, and other devices. In short, the legacy systems may not “play well with others,” and that can result in difficulties when employees work from home. If everyone is working from home, the system can be avoided and work-arounds can be found.
But what happens when only some workers are working from home, and the rest are in the office? Then the legacy system is in play, but only for part of the company’s workforce. That leads to workers who can access what they need from the system, workers who can’t do so, and people on both sides of the workplace arrangement who have to find new ways to send files and provide information to one another. That can slow productivity and cause issues quickly, some of which may be hard to correct. According to Gartner, only 4% of current hybrid or remote employees would choose to come back to their offices full-time if given the chance to choose. This means that companies could face a huge mass exodus of their employees if they don’t figure out how to properly integrate hybrid or fully remote work settings.
Legacy ERP Replacement: Is It Necessary?
The answer to whether replacement of a current legacy ERP system is necessary is yes…and no. Truly, it depends on the kind of system that’s in place, how that system is being used, and the number of employees who will be working from home versus those who will be back in the office. Some legacy systems are designed to handle unique requirements and challenges better than others.
But for most companies, the need to upgrade to something that’s designed for a hybrid workplace gets closer every day. As workers return to the office in larger numbers, there will likely be a shift in what works properly for them and their companies. Businesses that were hoping to continue to use their legacy systems may have to make quick decisions about new systems, as well.
Let MIBAR Help You
When it comes to creating ERP systems that make the most of your efforts, MIBAR is here to walk you through the process. We invite you to meet MIBAR and learn how our ERP systems can help you get your employees back to work—whether they go back to the office or stay at home. Contact us to learn more.
Rather than allow that to happen, your business may benefit from making the change to a new system before it’s absolutely necessary. Saying goodbye to your company’s old legacy system may feel like the end of an era. But making the switch before the demands of a hybrid workplace force the change can mean more time to find the right system for your company’s new – and future – needs.