Working from home saves money for workers and businesses

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Friday, February 19, 2021
Working from home may mean savings for all
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Working from home may mean savings for employees but also for businesses.

For those fortunate enough to still be employed and able to work from home during the pandemic, there has been a financial upside.

With no commute to the office, workers are saving money in many different ways.

And companies are also finding out that having employees work from home can mean big savings for themselves.

If you've been working from home, then you are probably saving money just on your car alone.

Those working from home are saving a lot on gas, tires, oil changes and other maintenance.

Some auto insurance companies are giving discounts because cars are not on the road as much as they were prior to the pandemic.

And there are even more savings while working from home according to business advisor Molly Hegeman.

"You perhaps aren't paying a toll road fee, there's less meals out, there's less dry cleaning expense," Hegeman said. "So there certainly are tangible benefits there."

Hegeman, a human resources expert for Catapult, a nonprofit business membership organization, said there are many other ways employees are saving.

She doesn't disagree with figures from an organization called Global Workplace Analytics, which advocated for teleworking long before the pandemic.

It claims employees can save anywhere from $640 to $6,400 annually by working from home.

"There's no question that those numbers are realistic," Hegeman said.

She is already cautioning members that some of their workers will be adamant about continuing to work from home after the pandemic.

"There's going to be an expectation from an employee perspective, and some pushback if an employer says you need to come back into the office five days a week," Hegeman said.

She said that most companies have found that working from home did not decrease productivity.

In fact, at some companies, productivity increased and so did the bottom line as things such as idle chit-chat and office gossip were minimized.

"There are savings when you are cutting out wasted time and people can be more productive, focused in on their tasks or their responsibilities," Hegeman said.

However, she noted that it is also likely that not all bosses will agree to employees continuing to work remotely full-time.

They might, however, consider a hybrid approach.

"From both a safety perspective, from a preference perspective, from a productivity perspective," Hegeman said, "I think there are lots of reasons to be able to manage perhaps some days in the office, and then some days working remote."

The boss might even be more open to that when he or she realizes it could mean even bigger savings for the company than just an increase in productivity.

Global Workplace Analytics also estimated that having an employee working half their hours remotely could save businesses as much as $11,000 per employee per year on costs including things such as parking, office space, and fleet management.

So, many companies may be willing to at least consider the hybrid model.

Hegeman pointed out that there's room for compromise.

"There's benefits to both perspectives," she said. "All of one is probably not going to be how we're going to return from the midst of the, you know, intense pandemic."

You can bet companies across America are already calculating potential savings.

If you are working from home and would like to also calculate what your savings may be, Global Workplace Analytics has an online calculator you can try at this link.