How Allowing Permanent Remote Positions Can Help Cut Costs and Increase Productivity
The coronavirus crisis has caused a lot of companies to switch their on-site workers to remote positions. As the benefits of working from home are becoming clear, many industry leaders are considering shifting a portion of their employees to permanent remote positions after the pandemic.
Under pressure to reduce costs, CFOs are seeking creative ways to accomplish this, and permanent remote positions have emerged as the most effective method. The advancement of technology has made remote work viable, and companies are taking additional steps to facilitate the shift.
The disruption to industries caused by COVID-19 is forcing companies to find new cost-cutting measures, while retaining their productivity and fulfilling their contractual obligations to their employees. Here are some of the ways that permanent remote positions can help companies sustain themselves during the crisis and beyond.
Lower Overhead, Utilities, and Maintenance Costs
One of the major financial benefits of allowing permanent remote positions is the amount of money that can be saved on renting office space. A significant portion of your company’s yearly budget is spent on it, and having even a portion of your workforce switch to a remote position will be beneficial to your budget.
As more companies implement remote positions, the cost of real estate is expected to go down, so you will already be saving money. Moving a portion of your employees to work from home will allow you to downsize the company offices. As you downsize, the money you pay on utilities will go down, providing you with the opportunity to allocate the resources into improving productivity.
Fewer people working at the office will mean that you need to contract less support staff. The company cafeteria can employ fewer workers, or you can shut it down altogether. The regular wear and tear of office space will reduce, allowing you to cut costs on cleaning and maintenance work.
Increased Remote Worker Productivity
Contrary to popular belief, working from home can increase employee productivity. You will need to put in the effort to help facilitate the change from on-site work to remote positions – providing the right tools, technical support, and training is necessary if you wish for your employees to remain productive; reallocating the finances previously reserved for office space can help you accomplish this. It is a one-time investment that will save you money in the long-run.
You also need to make changes in the way workers are managed. Working from home is different than working from an office, and having a fixed time-frame reserved for work is inefficient. Guide your employees, but give them a flexible schedule – they will learn how to organize their day in order to be the most productive.
Treat working from home as project-based work; you set the deadlines, milestones and keep track of the progress being made, but allow your employees the freedom of how they will manage it. Micromanaging remote workers is not only inefficient, it is next to impossible.
If you allow your workers to adjust their schedule as is necessary, their home offices will offer fewer distractions, allowing them to stay focused longer, increasing their output. The lack of a commute is beneficial to both you and your employees.
No commute lowers the stress levels of your employees, helping them be more efficient. Additionally, many companies report that remote workers spend more time working, now that they have more free time. It is up to you to invest in your remote workers and minimize the disruptions caused by the current crisis, but their greater output will lead to greater profits for your company.
Lower Worker Attrition
Losing qualified and experienced employees due to worker attrition is an undesirable, yet expected, aspect of doing business. Multiple surveys have shown that people who work from home are more satisfied with their jobs, helping alleviate the impact of worker attrition.
Hiring and training new staff requires you to invest resources in order to get qualified employees. All the while you are losing money due to their lower productivity. The time it takes for new employees to reach the level of proficiency required of them is a net loss for your company.
Permanent remote positions will help you retain your senior staff, without having to give incentives that you may not be able to afford. Remote positions will save you money on training new workers, while at the same time keep you from losing money until the new workers reach the desired levels of competency.
Reduced Health Care Price
The health and wellbeing of your workers should be of the utmost importance; not just from a humanitarian position, but from a business one as well. Providing healthcare to your workers is already a burden, and an unhealthy workforce will make your premiums go up.
A lot of health issues are caused by work-related stress, and working from home has shown to alleviate a lot of it. Additionally, remote workers exercise more due to the free time their positions provide them, make better dietary decisions, and experience a better work-life balance, keeping them healthier in general.
On average, remote workers take one less sick day off per month, in comparison to their on-site counterparts. Having your employees take fewer sick days will increase your company’s output. Overall, remote positions safeguard your employees’ health, saving you money, and widening your company’s profit margins in turn.
Fewer Commuting and Travel Expenses
Remote positions will help your company save money on commuting costs. As a portion of your workforce won’t have to travel to work, you will no longer need to pay for the expenses associated with traveling to work.
Fewer workers coming to the office will also help you with parking expenses. Just providing parking space in high-density areas can significantly strain your budget. Fewer cars will allow you to downsize the parking space allotted for your staff, saving you money in the process.
Additionally, as people get used to using video calls for conferences and meetings, work-related travel reduces. Not only does this save your employees from unnecessary travel time, allowing them to work more hours, it also substantially reduces your company’s travel costs.
Remote Workers Are Willing to Take Pay Cuts
Surveys show that due to the increased job satisfaction experienced by remote employees who have recently gained their positions, they are willing to take pay cuts in order to make their new positions permanent.
A substantial amount of remote workers report that they would agree to a 10 percent lower salary if allowed to work from home. Retaining qualified workers, who are happy with their jobs, with less financial investment on your part is a clear net gain for your company.
Establishing permanent remote positions will help your company cut overhead and reduce healthcare, training, and travel expenses, all the while increasing your employees’ productivity. As you become more experienced in managing remote workers, you will find additional ways to improve your company’s situation. The COVID-19 crisis is forcing business leaders to get creative, and allowing permanent remote positions is being proactive and taking the first step.
Interview with Elena Dimoska- Co-founder & CEO @ Ignite Global Media
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