If you were to make a pros and cons list of remote work, both sides would probably have pretty good arguments as to whether you should go remote or not. But if you’re still on the fence about it after making the list, there might be one thing on the pro side that eventually makes you bite the bullet: remote work saves you quite a bit of money.
And who doesn’t want to save a couple of bucks. Money, finances, overhead costs… they’re probably every company’s greatest headache. So any chance there is to save a penny, be more cost-effective and spend money on more meaningful things is more than welcome. Here you find a non-exhaustive list of ways remote work can help you do that.
Put your money somewhere else
The most obvious way to save money, and one you’ll feel take effect immediately, is to stop renting office space. As an employer you spend tons of money on a decent office space and rent prices have been going through the roof lately, especially in cities. Also keep in mind that offices are usually rent per square meter/feet, so these costs can skyrocket very quickly the more space you need. And it’s not just the office space itself that’s taking a big chunk out of the budget, it’s also the extra costs that come with that: water, electricity, gas, heating, air conditioning and all the furniture, equipment and supplies an office needs. Take all of that out of the equation, and you’re left with a lot of money you could spend on something else.
Not having an office also means employees won’t have to commute to the office. On an annual basis, you’ll save quite a lot on commuting expenses for all your employees, if they can work remotely. And you don't just save money, the popular saying "time is money" makes more sense now. Think about all the precious hours your employees could have gotten tons of work done, but instead they were wasting their time away in a car stuck in traffic.
But there is more to it…
There are a lot of indirect monetary advantages linked to remote work as well. You might not think of them right away when you’re making your list, so take note.
We know by now that companies need to consider offering remote options if they want to stay relevant for today’s workforce. It’s a factor that more and more people take into consideration when choosing their next employer. Giving employees the flexible work option they’re longing for increases your chances of hiring people that will be very happy to work for you. Motivated workers are also more productive and this could possibly result in more revenue.
And that’s not it, happier employees often means loyal employees. This translates to a higher employee retention rate and consequently a reduction of staff turnover in the company. This is good news as you need to invest less money in hiring, training and onboarding new employees every so many months. Generally remote work also reduces absenteeism and tardiness and all the costs that come with that, because employees are excited to work for you and they don’t lose valuable time during their daily commute.
With a bigger talent pool, you have access to more competent and efficient people.
When you have a fully remote team you’re not restricted to the physical location of an office. That geographical freedom means you can hire people from a bigger area or maybe from all around the globe. Your talent pool grows and you have more luck hiring the best and most efficient employees. When you hire across different time zones, you can operate more hours in a day and that’s even more ka-ching! If you're interested in knowing more about time zones and what they can mean for your remote company, check out this article. Lastly, once you’re fully set up as a remote team and you got your policies and ways of working figured out, it’s easier to scale your company than it is for a company that's not remote. And when a business grows, so does the profit (hopefully).
Everyone saves money
Not only employers benefit from this, so do the employees themselves. We mentioned the lost hours in the car employees would win back if they were able to work remotely. But there are more ways they could spend a little less. For example, as a remote working parent, they could be able to save a little bit on childcare or they shouldn't worry about having to buy a new wardrobe that is work/office appropriate. The list goes on and on...
Cities are becoming overcrowded, we should encourage people to work from more rural areas.
Remote also means the employee can basically work from wherever they want, so if they happen to live in a more rural area, that's great! They can avoid having to drive to a big city for work. The cities are overcrowded anyway, so they won’t have to deal with the bad infrastructure problems caused by excessive traffic or spend way too much money on parking and overpriced lunch and coffee. There are, in fact, programs that promote moving to or working from more rural areas. There are some initiatives put in place in the US to boost the local economies and bring more jobs to rural or economically disadvantaged areas. For example, in Tulsa, Oklahoma they rolled out the "Tulsa Remote" initiative to attract new residents and these people receive grants and benefits to work from there. It's great, because no money has to be spent on office space and the employee gets paid to live remotely! In Massachusetts they included a tax credit of up to $2,000 per employee for companies that support employees who work from home or remote locations (Forbes, 2019). Some people are strong advocates for giving even more tax credits to companies that promote remote work.
You see, there is more to it than it seems. Just do the math and you’ll understand that all these things together will save you a small fortune. You'll be able to run your business in a more cost-effective way and you can spend money on things that actually matter to your company.
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