DENVER, Colorado – Since the start of the pandemic, more and more companies have allowed their employees to work remotely. However, businesses that depend on clients who work in the office are suffering, and experts say those businesses need to adapt.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, one in four Americans works remotely from home.
GWA also estimates that 22% of the workforce will work remotely by 2025.
According to Mac Clous, an economics professor at the University of Denver, the trend may be here to stay.
“Well, it’s been a challenge for workers, consumers and the company,” Clous said. “A lot of people want to work from home, and the business is struggling to bring people back to work in the business, especially for businesses that don’t make sense to people working from home.”
Remote working also affects businesses that rely on foot traffic from office workers.
“If you don’t have people in the high rise buildings where these people were your lunch business, there’s no one walking around downtown during lunch hour – that’s your business,” Clous said.
According to Bullseye Capital, across the country during the week there are fewer workers in city centers, which means local stores dependent on those workers suffer.
“It was very slow, days I could have counted a handful of people, it was very slow,” said Jenny Scaff. Who works with Vienna Dry Cleaners. “Our dry cleaners, most of the people we see are business people. If they don’t go to the office and wear their street clothes, then they don’t come in. So this completely affects our business.
Since many office workers are working remotely, dry cleaning slowed down the need for Vienna Dry Cleaners to adapt and shut down one of their buildings permanently.
“A lot of weddings have taken place, and it’s all helped us a lot, but I’m sure it’s going to slow down when fall rolls around,” Scaff said.
According to Clous, in order to survive, these types of businesses will need to change their marketing to target customers.
“Businesses that depended on foot traffic and people passing by because they were in the area or construction workers, they’re going to have to give people another reason to come to their business,” Clous said. “So it really becomes a marketing challenge. How do you get to these people? How to convince them to come down when it’s not the same because they were there for work or they were in one of these buildings, you need to contact them now.