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March 18, 2024

How Work From Home has Impacted Operational Costs

I first began telecommuting in the late 90s. Working from home three to four days a week required replicating my corporate office environment in my home office. My employer shipped a desktop computer, monitor and phone system to my home, which then was set up by the corporate IT associate (also a telecommuter). While gone are the days of the corporate ‘come-to-your home’ IT support, today’s work-from-home (WFH) movement is positively impacting organizations’ operational costs. According to Global Workplace Analytics, nearly 60% percent of employers identify cost savings as a significant telecommuting benefit. 

In fact, organizations that offer either full- or part-time WFH, realize operational cost savings in many forms. Most significant, is the real estate-related cost reduction. Organizations save money on rent and utilities when the majority of their workforce is remote. Some reports find average real estate savings with full-time telework to be $10,000 per employee per year. Operational cost savings are also realized in reduced cleaning service fees, office equipment costs, physical security and food costs. Do you remember when the office manager stocked the office refrigerator with sodas, bottled water, snacks and maybe even catered lunch once a week for employees? 

Transportation subsidies are also reduced as companies with multiple locations lessen in-person meetings with co-workers, customers and partners. Mileage, parking, bridge and/or road toll fees can also be cut for those who work from home. 

Avoiding employee relocation fees also contributes to reduced operational costs. Today, an employee can remain in the same place and work remotely, connecting to associates via an organization’s centralized document and file sharing applications, collaborating in real-time and participating in virtual meetings.

However, investment in remote-work-enabled technology may increase to support the WFH movement including upgrading IT infrastructure, adopting cloud computing and storage solutions, implementing cybersecurity measures and providing employees with software and devices necessary for remote work. 

And what about those devices? Recent reports note that nearly 84% of organizations permit or mandate employees to use their mobile phones as their work phones. While most employees have unlimited minutes, organizations may also offer a technology stipend or tech allowance to cover personal phone use for work. Another alternative is to provide each employee with a corporate-issued mobile phone, which on average costs $350 per employee annually. 

While the WFH movement has positively impacted organizations’ operational costs, organizations can further decrease their operating costs by reexamining their technology, service and support offerings.

As the world realizes the WFH movement is here to stay, expect innovations that provide greater efficiencies and operating cost reductions. Ringer will soon be leading this charge by helping employers meet today’s workforce needs with a game-changing corporate phone service that streamlines work and life for mobile employees. Sign up to receive updates and be among the first to learn more about what Ringer is bringing to market: