Coronavirus has made all of us adjust the way we live, work, and go about our daily lives. But it has also accelerated many of the processes that were already in motion. Remote work – or telework – is one of these processes.
Now, what was once a gradual shift toward new working practices, has grown somewhat urgent, and you are probably weighing up the costs and savings of pivoting toward telework.
To help you, we’ve compiled a handy guide.
What is telework?
Telework is the concept of moving our normal working practices from an office-based environment to a remote one. This might include working at home, perhaps during the pandemic, or while your kids have a day off from school. It can also include working remotely on a business trip, or simply when you’re logging-in at “out-of-office” times to meet increased demand.
Your investment: The cost of telework
So, what exactly will this investment cost you?
- There may be an element of training involved for team members not used to remote working.
- You will need to invest in the software platforms that make remote work possible.
- To be fully compliant, you will need to make sure that all personnel is operating the latest in anti-virus and anti-malware protection.
- You will also need to step up your monitoring policies to manage the shift toward remote work in the proper way.
Your return: The savings of telework
Of course, every investment has its returns. So how does the ROI for telework stack up?
- You’ll see increased productivity and reduced unavailability (more on this below).
- Employees will have increased working hours, once the commute is factored out of the equation.
- There will be a potential reduction in hardware investment if BYOD (bring your own device) policies are implemented.
- Expect reduced staff turnover and reduced staff training costs as a result.
- Happier customers and clients thanks to a shift toward an “always-on” business model; this, in turn, leads to increased lifetime value per customer.
- Reduced downtime, thanks to a more flexible approach to business. This is key when you consider that the cost of downtime is estimated to be between $5,600 and $9,000 per minute.
- Potential fines for a lack of compliance with Covid-19 prevention guidelines are eliminated.
At a glance: The benefits of telework for your company
Let’s take a look at some of the key takeaways, and understand a bit more about the real advantages telework provides for your business.
- Productivity actually increases – Remote workers may be around 13% more productive than their office-based counterparts.
- Telework helps businesses to keep hold of their key staff – It’s true, remote work and telecommuting make employees happier. As many as 99% of employees want to see some element of remote work introduced to their schedule, which makes them more likely to stick around.
- It helps us to safeguard our environment – Have you ever raged at all the cars on the road during rush hour? Well, think of all the journeys – and, therefore, pollution – that will be saved with a telecommute.
- During the pandemic, it keeps everyone safe – Covid-19 has proved itself to be a resilient and rapidly spreading virus. Social distancing is, as of now, the only reliable response. Telework makes this possible.
- Reduced absenteeism and presenteeism – The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index found that absenteeism costs American businesses $84 billion annually. However, presenteeism – i.e. turning up to work even when sick enough to warrant time off – is also an issue, leading to more sick days for workers across the board. Remote work capability significantly reduces both of these elements.
- Businesses are better positioned to meet the needs of customers – Even before the advent of the coronavirus, businesses had changed. While consumers used to accept the idea of “opening” or “office” hours, they now expect an “always-on” approach to service. Telework makes this possible.