This blog was originally written with the Covid 19 pandemic winding down in mind; however, that no longer matters because employees still need and are demanding flexible work. The reality is that a) many employees don't need to be in the office full time, b) you'll likely miss the best talent on new hires, c) employees are plenty productive at home, d) you'll end up wasting money, and e) the government may ultimately push for a remote working plan for many employees/employers.
The 5 Big Reasons to Support Employee Work from Home and Remote Working:
1) Employees Don't Want to Work in the Office Exclusively
Consult Google, ask your employees honestly, I don't care what you do but I assure you that many of your employees have no interest in physically working in your office, at least not full-time. In the US and other places, employees have been quitting their jobs in droves in order to find more flexible solutions. Employees don't want to travel for hours a day or spend money needlessly on transit, gas, or parking for the benefit of....facetime?
Skilled labour shortages are still very much wide spread, even as recession fears start to mount. In the coming years, I expect finding quality people is going to continue to be challenging.
2) You Likely Won't Get the Best Talent
I recently worked with a client to get a job posting filled. The job was to be carried out physically in the office and we were very disappointed with the interest we got. A month later with another company, in the same city, we posted a similar role but with a work-from-home option. We received over 200 resumes in 48 hours, many of them very qualified. Guess where they worked? At companies that weren't flexible.
3) Employees Working from Home are More Productive
Yes, that's right, your office environment wasn't nearly as productive as your work-from-home workforce. Sure, at the beginning of the pandemic, there were growing pains but for many companies nowadays, workflow has become efficient, communications among team members have a good balance, technology has helped tremendously and employees are on average probably working more hours for your business than previously. Also, I wouldn't blindly believe all those studies suggesting that employees are "suffering" at home. To help combat the negative aspects of working from home, you could do things like encourage hybrid arrangements or ensure you have planned socials for employees to look forward to & to build culture.
4) You're Wasting Money
How much could you save if you downsized your office or reconfigured it primarily for meetings, a few employees, desk-sharing options, or occasional staff events? There's more than just rent or leasing costs to consider here and you are definitely going to save money keeping employees at home, especially if your office is in a major city or busy center. Even if you "think" that your employees are slacking off or not working as hard at home, the savings on the hard costs will help offset any sort of time theft that may be happening.
5) The Government May Push for It
The government spends billions of dollars on infrastructure and they have carbon-reducing green initiatives. Do you think the government is capable of keeping up with infrastructure spending? The reality is that governments are OUT OF MONEY and will look for ways to keep their spending down. Fewer commuting employees means less infrastructure spending. In addition, countries around the world are putting green initiatives in place to reduce greenhouse gases. I'm sure you saw at least one article during the pandemic about significantly cleaner air while everyone stayed at home. For this reason, the government also has an interest in keeping cars at home.
Ultimately, I would expect the government to step in and start providing things like tax credits to companies that keep a certain percentage of their workforce at home. Tax policy is often used to shape behaviour. While it's speculation at this point, it makes a lot of sense and you won't qualify for anything with your full employee return to the office plan.
About Geh Chartered Professional Accountants
Geh Chartered Professional Accountants is led by partners Peter Geh and Elena Geh. Our primary relationship goal with our clients is to help you confidently manage and grow your business while increasing profits. We offer integrated, ongoing fractional CFO services OR a variety of as needed accounting and corporate tax services such as: corporate tax preparation (T2), year end financial statements (Compilation), cash flow management, budgeting, financial modelling, capital raising support, month end reporting and financial oversight, KPI dashboards, business profitability, pricing and cost analysis, accounting department reviews, new accounting systems and apps, accounting help + more!
Geh Chartered Professional Accountants primarily provides services to West Kelowna, Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, and Lake Country in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Have a business in West Kelowna, Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton or Lake Country and are you looking for a new accountant or accounting services? At Geh CPAs, we'd love to hear from you! Initial consultations are always free.