Could Going Remote Help Save Your Company Money?

25% of all professional jobs are remote right now, could going remote help your company save money? Find out how to downsize and stay lean moving forward.


Going Remote

Image: Pixabay


Remote working is no longer a privilege reserved for the lucky few. The majority of companies are now more than happy to grant their employees the freedom to work from the comfort of their homes.


COVID-19 taught us that most businesses can function perfectly in a 100% remote setup. Now, as we gradually ease out of the pandemic, most managers still allow their teams to work either remotely or as part of a hybrid model.


Still, the net benefits of remote working must be argued: some business leaders are resistant to change, unconvinced that the working from home revolution is a positive force. Maybe you’re one of them.


If that sounds like you, let us present to you our argument for going remote, as your company could make some hefty savings. Below, we’ll cover a few of the major ways in which a remote working approach can save your company some money.

You can scale down your HQ

It may be that your company has grown over the years, and your office space has grown with it. If that’s the case, then it’s also likely that a big chunk of your budget is eaten up in rental costs or maintenance. Shifting to a 100% remote working model can change this. With no need for a central office, you’re free to reclaim a large wedge of cash.


Not ready to ditch the office completely?

There’s no shame in downsizing. The imposing, monolithic office block is slowly losing its symbolic status anyway. These towering monuments to work are slowly emptying as teams warm to the idea of going remote.


If you favor a hybrid approach, downsizing to a smaller, more comfortable space can ensure you’re still afforded a central hub for your business. Aim for an office that can accommodate half of your active workforce, and work out a rota by which everyone can attend the office on set days (Monday has a good guide to getting this done). This way, you’ll save some cash and still keep the office vibes. Of course, there are pros and cons to a hybrid working model. It’s a contentious topic (and one that deserves an article in its own right) but for the sake of providing a balanced argument, take a look at the benefits and drawbacks listed below:

Pros of a hybrid/remote work environment

Some of the benefits of a hybrid/remote work environment include:


Increased flexibility — Employees are able to plan their work around their say-to-day commitments. Childcare is far easier to organize, and your workers will enjoy an improved work-life balance.


Hire locally or globally — Forget the traditional geographical limitations faced by the recruitment drives of the past. Hybrid and remote working environments mean you can cast a much wider net when searching for new team members.


Reduced overheads — As mentioned earlier, if you do decide to adopt a completely remote model of working, you’ll eliminate any of the costs associated with renting (or owning) an office space. This is without mentioning the costs of office materials and furniture, too!

Cons of a hybrid/remote work environment

Some of the drawbacks of a hybrid/remote work environment are:


There’s a learning curve — Managing projects in a hybrid/remote environment can be a real challenge, and for many managers they may be completely new to this manner of working.


Coordination can be challenging — Directing a team can be time-consuming and may not feel as fluid as traditional, office-based working.


Technology — Despite the advances in Internet technology and communication infrastructure since the nineties, glitches and slowdowns are still an issue. Be prepared to deal with team members inexplicably disconnecting from a meeting, or missing hours of work due to an internet outage!

You can save money on payroll

Now, we’re not suggesting that you immediately start paying your employees less and force them to work from home. We’re not sure you’d be very popular after a decision like that, after all. But if you’re looking to hire new talent, you can reasonably consider offering lower pay for 100%-remote positions. Without the need to pay for commuting costs or cover office lunches, potential hires could have lower costs of living.


Another way to bring in talent on a modest budget is to source candidates from overseas. Due to relative currency strength, even a trimmed salary by your standards can be extremely attractive in some countries. And you don’t need to import them: using an employer of record service like Remote, you can hire employees from overseas without moving them or needing to go through any administrative hassle (everything from payroll to HR is handled).


Whether you look in your country or cast your gaze farther afield, be sure to seek candidates from rural areas. They’ll typically have lower salary expectations than their city-dwelling equivalents, so you might be able to bag a skilled professional at a bargain price.

You can increase productivity

Back before the COVID-19 outbreak, many people thought the world of business would fall apart if workers were given the freedom to work from home. It wasn’t just a matter of demanding a level of trust and respect that most leaders simply didn’t have for their teams. It was also about a conviction that productivity would inevitably drop.


Now that time has passed, though, we’ve accrued a wealth of data to back up the idea that workers are happier and more productive when they’re working from home. Of course, there will always be individuals who prefer the buzz of the office, but for the vast majority, a hybrid approach to working can be a boon to their motivation and efficiency. Employees who do decide to work from home can ensure maximum productivity by:


Creating an effective workspace — while it might feel comfy and cozy to snuggle up under a duvet while working from home, selecting a specific spot to work from has been proven to increase productivity. Pick a place with natural light, and invest in a fully-featured office chair and work desk if necessary. This can also help to create a physical distinction between your work and home life. It’s best to choose a spot in your home that is farthest from noise and distractions if you can’t set up your own separate workspace.


Limit distractions — Working from home has many advantages, but it can also introduce a number of new distractions. While at home, it might be tempting to start household chores during work hours or turn on the TV. To avoid these distractions, be sure to allocate a set period of time where you can tend to your housekeeping duties and ensure your home office space is clean and tidy ahead of time. It’s also important to resist the temptation to keep the TV on while working — listen to some music instead, as this is far less likely to distract you.


Set healthy boundaries and know when to stop working — If you do plan on working from home regularly, it’s worth having a frank discussion with the other members of your household, so that they’re fully aware of your working hours. If you’re due to attend an important video call, let everyone know in advance, lest you end up in yet another compilation of awkward Zoom moments… It might take a while for your home environment to become ‘WFH friendly’, so it’s important to manage expectations with your line manager, too. If the other members of your household aren’t able to accommodate your existing schedule, the possibility of modifying your working hours and responsibilities might be an option, but as always — communication is key!


Get dressed and ready for work as you normally would — It’s tempting to stay in your pajamas or throw on a pair of sweatpants and a vest when working from home, but this won’t help your productivity levels. Try to rise and shine as you usually would, take a quick shower and set aside some time to get dressed and enjoy your breakfast. This will help you to adopt a professional mindset, and subconsciously prime your brain for productivity.


The bottom line for your business as a whole is this: a more productive workforce means a healthier bottom line. Research shows a strong correlation between worker happiness and productivity: the University of Oxford found that happy workers are 13% more productive. So if you’re looking for output, shifting to a hybrid approach could be the way to go.

You can reduce employee churn

It’s expensive to replace your staff, and as we touched upon earlier, giving your employees the option to work from home is likely to increase their satisfaction at work. The added flexibility and improved work-life balance should ensure that your team members remain happy in their positions, meaning they’ll be more likely to stick with you in the long run.


This is particularly true for the younger members of your team: research has shown that ‘Gen Y’ professionals are more difficult to recruit and retain, but if the option to work from home is offered, they’re likely to take it (and subsequently show loyalty to the company).


Losing employees can be a pricey business, after all. The cost of replacing a salaried employee can be staggering: between 6 and 9 months of their current annual pay. Keep your employees happy by offering the option of remote work and you’ll reduce the likelihood of your workforce jumping ship.


Just remember — remote employees still need the correct tools, training and leadership if they’re to thrive and succeed in their roles. Be sure to:


Build and maintain a strong company culture — The importance of a strong company culture for remote workers cannot be overstated. Not only will you attract a better standard of talent to your organization by defining your values and ethos, but you’re more likely to retain your current team members, too.


Be honest with prospective candidates — Be up-front about the fact your employees will be expected to work in a remote or hybrid environment. While it’s true that most employees will be more than happy to hear this, there are still those who prefer a full-time office environment. Be wary of this and ensure that you’re forthcoming about what the role will look like on a day-to-day basis.


Avoid communication breakdown — back in the days of the traditional office environment, employees could simply nudge their managers if they needed help. In a remote environment, this isn’t the case. Messaging software like Slack can serve as a digital HQ for your business, making it far easier for your workers to communicate in real-time, just as they would do in the office. Make it as easy as possible for your employees to communicate and they’re far more likely to stick around. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully we’ve made a good case for the remote working model. Whether you decide on a 100% remote approach or prefer a hybrid style, it’s definitely something worth considering if you’re looking to slim down your spending.  Will it require a significant amount of time and effort to implement in your organization? Possibly, but it’s likely that the events of 2020 already provided a perfect test-case for remote working. If it worked then, it’s just as likely to work now! For more on remote work, check our guide on the topic here.