We are navigating a new reality as the COVID-19 pandemic presents both opportunities and challenges for businesses. People across the globe stayed home for months and may continue to do so in 2021. Processes that depended on in-person physical activities came to an abrupt halt as governments implemented strict social distancing measures. Implementing digitized processes became a major driver of both economic and societal success almost overnight.
The pandemic has accelerated the shift to remote work as many companies realize that it is no longer an option. Some felt unprepared while others were not convinced about the benefits of working from home. There are concerns related to communication, collaboration, security, time management, and productivity. This is because when people talk about WFH, the topic tends to focus on how it helps employees. The truth is that remote work arrangements are equally beneficial for employers.
In this post, we shall answer the question “how does working from home saves companies money”.
There is an ongoing debate about whether remote workers are more productive than in-office employees. Not surprisingly, employees perform better when there are lesser distractions as they can perform their job duties from the comfort of their homes. They can also use the time saved from nearly zero commutes to get an early start.
Let’s look at some working from home productivity statistics. A study by Stanford examined how 16,000 WFH employees performed in 7 months, and the results revealed a 13% increase in productivity. Similarly, 77% of remote workers who participated in the CoSo Cloud survey reported higher efficiency and productivity.
Your teams are more likely to be loyal if you provide them with work options that enable them to achieve a balance between their personal and professional lives. Let’s consider an example. Mental alertness is at its peak at different hours during the day for each individual. So, you should offer employees the flexibility to perform their job duties when they are most active. Host video conferences occasionally and give pep talks. Ask workers to set proper routines they can follow and allow them to take short breaks to refocus or relax.
Above all, make sure that all your teams stay organized. All these measures will show them that you truly care about their happiness and well-being. You get to eliminate the likelihood of procrastination or unproductive habits which could negatively impact your daily profit average. Plus, job satisfaction levels increase, which means you get more work done in less time.
The opportunity to work flexibly and become a part of virtual teams is a key enabler of digital transformation that maximizes long-term profitability. To achieve this, invest in tech solutions that allow remote employees to work efficiently.
The best WFH technology helps you gain an edge over the competition. This even addresses one of the biggest productivity hurdles in a typical office: unnecessary or impromptu meetings. With remote work, everything is planned ahead. Your teams can choose to be notified hours before company meetings or video conferencing sessions, and everyone can manage the minutes in better ways.
Let’s look at some must-have WFH tools and strategies for your business.
- Team Messaging
Modern instant messaging tools such as Microsoft Teams and Slack go beyond helping companies realize productivity gains. Microsoft Teams makes all collaboration solutions including chats, online meetings, tasks, and shared files available in a single, dynamic app. Users also receive access to a variety of third-party apps that easily integrate into Teams. On the other hand, Slack keeps instant messaging, text messaging, and email together in one app for desktop and mobile versions, allowing employees to coordinate effortlessly.
- Video Conferencing
Video conferencing solutions structure meetings to enable smooth, all-around communication. The ideal platforms engage teams from different locations with set start-and-end times that everyone agrees upon. Participants can initiate in-depth discussions with visual cues from colleagues, supervisors, and customers. Stakeholders become more in sync due to streamlined communications, allowing them to make decisions faster and achieve goals effortlessly.
- Project Management
Agile management solutions help supervisors track individual progress and the status of ongoing projects. This streamlines tasks and ensures that everyone is on the same page in terms of meeting deadlines. Teams receive access to a single destination with features such as to-do lists, milestones, timesheets, file management, shared calendars, and real-time KPI dashboards. This enables businesses to stay on top of everyone’s schedules and make the most of the workday.
Financial Benefits Of Working From Home
When your employees WFH, you need not pay for office space, supplies, or furniture to accommodate telecommuting staff. You may also request your teams to use their Wi-Fi, home computers, or phone lines to stay connected and complete their work. It becomes possible to save on rent and utilities like water and energy bills, as well as cleaning services. Let’s not forget the cost of refreshments that would otherwise go into cafeteria services or snacks.
When employees WFH, they usually have their home office setups or workstations that include computers, operating systems, headsets, and other accessories. So, in addition to saving on office computers, desktops, and expensive workstations, you get to prevent maintenance expenses. This translates into a considerable figure if have a team of 150+ people. Instead, it would be better to invest the amount you save in marketing or other initiatives that drive sales
There are many other remote work cost savings, including:
Lower Healthcare Costs
Employees often ask about work from home reimbursement when it comes to healthcare. Working in open offices increases the risk of on-site injuries, sickness, or catching the COVID-19 virus. A WFH arrangement improves work-life balance as employees get to spend quality time with their families. The percentage of workers taking time off or sick leaves drop as they work in the quiet of their homes. This reduces stress and burnout and promotes a healthy corporate culture. SMS particularly benefit because they do not have to go for health insurance plans that can result in their premiums going down.
Improved Employee Retention
The secret sauce to a successful business is a happy workforce. When you provide the right WFH incentives, you encourage employees to stay with your company instead of looking for job opportunities elsewhere. For instance, flexible scheduling enables your teams to work around their personal obligations, hence reducing absenteeism. Wouldn’t you prefer this to a scenario in which an employee takes a day or two off instead?
This reduces the turnover rate and you can save on recruitment, onboarding, as well as training costs. Think about it this way. If talented or senior resources leave, you have to bring in their replacements which can cost you in more ways than one.
No More Commuter Allowances
Some companies offer transportation or commuter allowances to employees as part of their salary package. It can either be a fringe benefit in some states or the law may require employers to do so. In the case of WFH, you need not worry about incurring these costs
Less Business Continuity Planning
Running an on-site business means going beyond factoring in real estate costs. Companies should always be prepared for any emergency, be it a technical failure or natural disaster. Organizations, especially those operating in high-risk industries like healthcare and finance, must have contingency plans that ensure maximum uptime in the event that a disaster strikes. Realistically, working from a physical location poses real threats that can bring entire operations to a grinding halt. So, you will need a business continuity or disaster recovery (DR) plan that may not necessarily be affordable, which is particularly a cause of concern for startups.
This is not to say that WFH is as simple. You still need to provide your teams with end-to-end IT infrastructure, software, and security to keep things going. The thing is you do not have to spend on compliant systems, insurance, getting your corporate building earthquake or fire-ready, etc. which can otherwise break the bank.
Access To Talent
Here’s another WFH cost saving that you probably did not think of. When you opt for this route, you gain access to global talent willing to work at reasonable pay scales. This means you need not commence operations in foreign lands that can bring about red tape, international bureaucracy, tax complications, etc.