The NCPC said enterprises could secure productivity and competitiveness from remote working arrangements in the new bulletin. But is it true? Luis gives us all the insights.
Though remote work seems like a dream, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Some businesses may face challenges from the extra cost of establishing remote working arrangements and equipping another workstation for employees.
There are several indirect benefits of working from home. It’s less expensive for the environment and mental health. But you also need to consider direct consequences. What’s best for your company? To have an office space plus the standardized cost of equipping that office? Or to provide the same benefits for your employees on a by person, individual basis, wherever they choose to work?
Is working remotely more expensive for businesses? Welcome, ladies and gentleman to Virtual Coffee Chat with Luis. I am your host, Luis, and this is my favorite beverage of choice.
In a new bulletin, the NCPC says that enterprises can secure productivity and competitiveness benefits from remote working arrangements with a broader pool of talent, better retention of staff, and improved cost effectiveness through more sustainable ways of working. However, it warns that some businesses may face challenges from the extra cost of establishing remote working arrangements and equipping another workstation for employees.
Interesting. Let me start by saying that actually, I never wanted to go too deep to the remote work is less expensive rabbit hole. It’s definitely less expensive indirectly because … but not necessarily for companies. I mean, it definitely is less expensive for the environment, for mental health. Mental health goes around to influence productivity, absenteeism. Companies spend less money, et cetera, right, but let’s try to be pragmatic and think about direct consequences. You can say that there are a lot of indirect benefits to the bottom line, but it’s really hard to account for those, right? Everything that I just said, how are we going to control for this? You can’t be scientific about it. What you can be scientific about is figuring out, what’s the costlier? To have office space plus the standardized cost of equipping that office? Or to provide the same benefits for your employees on a by person, individual basis, wherever they choose to work?
It might be worth in some cases, and it might be worth in other … It might be not worth it in other cases, right? You need to do the math. I understand where the NCPC is coming from here. Definitely, for some companies, it might mean that, yes, they are going to have extra expenses. I mean, doing remote work well is not very cheap, right, because we have increased costs like security, right? You should certainly endeavor to get your people together, to fly your people over to be together at least a couple of times per year. That’s also costly because you have to put them in hotel rooms. You have to hopefully rent a place for them to meet as a team. You have to pay for the traveling, et cetera, et cetera.
I would say in my experience, purely empirical experience, compared to maintaining corporate offices and all the added expenses that come with this, it’s usually a wash, right? I can see it being 10% more expensive or 10% cheaper depending on the industry and place and whatever, but I think my … Again, based on my experience that probably is more limited than whatever study the NCPC did, it’s pretty much a wash, but I would like to reframe it for people listening to this as just the cost of doing business, right?
Remote work comes with benefits. It also comes with disadvantages. I would say that paying a bit more to make sure that all your employees, wherever they are, are in their optimal workspace and optimal work environment and feel valued, so they will be more loyal and more productive and take more ownership of their work seems like a good investment to me. Again, we’re not talking about twice as much expensive as having offices, right? The thing about the office is that because it’s standardized, right, you can buy in bulk, so you get a better deal. That’s the only reason why the office could, in some cases, be less expensive, but we’re not talking about a huge difference.
So, it comes down to, how much do you value those indirect things, those indirect factors, the wellbeing of the employee? How much does that matter for you for your company? How much do you believe that translates into benefit for your business? Could be quite a bit, but that’s a decision for each employer to make just as the decision about whether remote work works for the company or not should also be in the hands of the employer, not the employees. They don’t need to accept that. They shouldn’t accept that. They should look for a workplace where they can thrive, but at the end of the day, my business is about helping people do remote work better. It’s not about telling people that remote work is the only solution out there. It’s definitely much not. This is not a religion, people. This is a philosophy, and it’s one philosophy along many.
So, there you have it. Is working from home going to be more expensive for businesses? Some cases, yeah. In some cases, no, but it’s never going to be much more expensive and much less expensive. It’s going to be a small divergence. So, I really don’t think that it’s a factor to consider among many, let’s say. So, that’s what I will have to say on that. I hope you enjoyed my takeaways in this Virtual Coffee Chat, and if you did, please press subscribe, like, and share. If you’d like to know more about how to do remote work better, well, we have a website for you. It’s called thinkremote.com, and you can find there every day all the newest insights and news related to working remotely. See you tomorrow.