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For obvious reasons, remote working and home working became the norm for many in 2020, and we suspect the situation will continue for some time.
Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, many employees say they prefer to work from home. This can save them money – especially those who commute to the office by car or public transport.
At MoneyMagpie, we’re no strangers to working from home. In fact, this has been our main way of working since we started in 2007 (we don’t want to boast, but we were definitely ahead of the curve!), So it was interesting to work with so many other companies rely on remote working.
It is a concept that divides small and medium-sized businesses that know they can save costs by closing offices and business premises but are wondering if their employees are fully productive, especially in industries where one-person performance is one is not always tangible or measurable.
Ultimately, this is a matter of trust, and only you can truly make a decision when you have weighed everything up. However, there are many benefits to your business if your employees work from home.
Keep costs down
IT company Sun Microsystems has claimed that working from home will save $ 68 million annually in related costs. While this company is operating on a macro scale, your small and medium-sized business can also make significant savings.
Depending on your lease, you could potentially save money on the cost of renting your office or commercial space and associated utility bills. With some landlords you can even take a “rental vacation” until your workforce returns to the premises.
There are also related savings as you can withhold your cleaning and food business operators if relevant to your business and there could also be savings in taxation costs.
It is also worth considering insurance. You could make savings by letting your home insurance lapse. Don’t forget that employee compensation insurance is not a factor either when employees work from home. However, make sure your coverage is back when employees return to work. Forgetting this can be costly when an employee is injured at work.
You must have the necessary insurance documents. So make sure you get your insurance certificate online if necessary.
health and luck
There are some employees – we all know who they are in our organizations – who may take some liberties on sick days when they succumb to a cold or a sore throat.
Working from home helps minimize the number of days lost to illness, as employees are much more likely to continue working through the pain threshold when they are in their own comfortable environment (we can personally confirm this!).
During these unprecedented times of COVID, you can minimize absenteeism that individuals may need to self-isolate or symptoms of the virus. You will be working from home anyway and can continue working without interruption.
And let’s look at the happiness of your employees. It is no secret that some SMEs have used home work as an “advantage” to sell their business to potential employees. This alone confirms that most workers are happier in their home environment than in their office or commercial workspace.
Statistics recorded before the pandemic found that remote workers, on average, were 22% happier than those who commute to the office every day – and you can only guess that this percentage is potentially even higher given the concerns of many Infection of the virus on the tube or at work.
Working from home leads to happier employees, which in turn leads to higher employee loyalty. It really is a win-win situation.
But what about productivity?
In some cases, you have no choice but to ask your employees to work from home. This can lead to trust issues.
How do you know they work hard instead of indulging in their favorite hobbies?
A study reported by the BBC shows that home workers can be 13% more productive than in the office, possibly because they are less distracted by office chit chat and background noise. An increased sense of concentration leads to more work, which is typically of higher quality and without fundamental flaws.
This has some limitations, and these are often technological. Do all of your workforce have a home Internet connection that is fast, reliable, and secure? These are considerations; However, quality broadband is so affordable and readily available these days. Other technologies, including VoIP video calling and remote meeting software like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, are becoming more familiar and used by many businesses.
As we’ve learned, working from home has numerous benefits for your employees and your small business. There is always some risk, but if you can leverage these cost savings effectively, it can greatly improve your company’s long-term profitability.