We have a small company with 3 SolidWorks users. Currently, our licenses of SolidWorks Professional are on each laptop. (No network license server.) Two of the engineers come into the office regularly, but it is not uncommon to end up working from home several days in a row (or weeks since this is 2020). One engineer lives on the other side of the country so only works remotely. We all use VPN regularly. We are considering setting up PDM standard.
Usually, only one engineer will work on a project. We rarely are working on the same project at the same time. We do check each other's work, so that is the time we are most likely to need to have more than one person with the file open at a time. (Only one would be editing, the other read only.) Currently, we save our files to a project specific network directory. We do not really use library parts. There isn't much reuse of items from project to project. We may use the same item, for example a screw, but we make a new copy for the new project. The network files are backed up regularly. (I think daily.) We also push the files from the network into GIT at irregular intervals during the design and as files are released.
We do have our standard templates on the network. We do have custom properties that we use regularly. We have a macro that will make a PDF for us with the revision as part of the name and place it in the correct directory. We have another macro that will make a step file with the revision as part of the name and place it in the correct directory.
Each project tends to be something completely different from previous projects. We do sometimes save bodies out or insert parts into others, but mostly we do not have a lot of external references.
The engineer that is always working remotely, does not always have consistent internet and is more likely to work locally and push files to GIT regularly. This engineer is the one that has the most trouble with working off the network drives. We really want to improve the process for getting his files somewhere others can access them.
I have been reading up PDM standard on it so that we can set it up (or have it set up) correctly for our needs. It looks like if you are using VPN, the best option is to work off-line for PDM when out of the office. Is that what you are finding? Are you checking out a license of SolidWorks for an extended time also?
I don't want us to implement PDM standard and find that we have issues with getting licenses from the license manager or that PDM is slowing us down significantly.