The guidance to work from home was one of the restrictions that was recently lifted along with several others that had been introduced to try to control the spread of Covid 19 infections.
The signs are that many have resumed the road or rail commute to the office as traffic numbers are steadily rising.
Was this a knee-jerk reaction by businesses desperate to return to normal? Or was it actually necessary?
Did they ask themselves whether they really needed all their employees to return to work in their centralised office locations?
Given that the economy of the country, and by extension of many businesses, is facing severe pressures as they seek to recover from the damage of the pandemic it will be crucial for businesses to keep a tight control on costs.
There are two factors in particular that are important to assessing whether a return to office-based working is actually necessary.
They are levels of productivity and business expenditure.
The LSE (London School of Economics) researched the effects of the pandemic work from home rule on productivity and found that not only can it actually improve productivity but can also reduce cases of burnout by as much as 26%.
But it stressed that businesses should take measures to ensure the model thrives including creating remote-work policies that detail expectations for employees, managers, and teams and training managers in managing remote teams inclusively.
Hitachi Capital was one of many organisations that researched the effects of working from home on business costs.
It identified five areas for potential costs savings during the period when employees were working remotely which included employee food and drink, employee travel, cleaning services, catering client meetings and rent and utilities.
Of the 250 SMEs surveyed it found “on average SME businesses (70%) saved up to an impressive £840 monthly. This is a cost that could total up to £10,000 annually for these companies”.
Such savings could make a significant difference to business survival in a time or rising costs.
When K2 Business Partners acquire a company or start working with directors to make improvements, one their early tasks is to take a fresh look at all the business systems and practices.
This is because every business falls into habitual ways of working that might have worked for years but if they are not updated, they become a costly burden.
The first step is to have an accurate picture of the business cash flow and this is where K2 can help. We have a free Cash Management tool that you can download here.
Take a look, apply it to your business and see where you could make savings and if you’d like to talk your ideas through message us on LinkedIn or give us a call.