I spent almost eight years working remotely before joining my current employer in 2016. I learned a lot from that experience including the importance of maintaining a presence when not on site. Much of the world has suddenly been forced to shift to remote working conditions and it's exposed a lot of problems which might never have surfaced if not for the coronavirus.
As we work through this unusual period it's important to consider how this experience should affect our work life during and after the recovery, when we're all heading back into the office. For example, are there positions which could very easily operate remotely and, in fact, maybe should? If you or your employer weren't that open-minded about remote work before is it possible you're starting to see some of the benefits?
How about the morale boost which sometimes accompanies remote work? I'm talking about eliminating commute time and therefore helping employees feel they were more productive today than yesterday. Over the past few weeks I've discovered that although my own commute (approximately 75 minutes each way) can sometimes get a bit old I'm looking forward to heading back into our office soon; I didn't realize how much I enjoy spending time face-to-face with colleagues, so that was a valuable discovery.
In other cases the solution might be something in between remote and on-site. Maybe three days in the office and two remotely each week. I had been doing one day remote per week earlier this year and found that I was infinitely more productive that one day than I was the other four, so it helped me balance my day-to-day activities.
The key here is to learn as much as possible today and make adjustments as conditions permit. Plus, by maintaining some number of remote employees you dramatically reduce the likelihood of being surprised when you try to quickly cobble together a collection of virtual work solutions all at once (e.g., video calls, cloud-based file storage/sharing, etc.). Don't forget the possibility that this is just Part One of the journey, especially if the virus rears its ugly head again later this year.