Rahul Sharma is the Managing Director for India & SAARC region of LogMeIn, one of the world’s top 10 public SaaS companies, and a market leader in communication & conferencing, identity & access, and customer engagement & support solutions. In his current role, Rahul is responsible for spearheading all the operations and go-to market activities. Further, he is actively involved in defining and delivering key growth metrics, heading and managing cross-functional teams, and engaging with customers, partners, and stakeholders to build the ecosystem for LogMeIn in India & SAARC countries.
When the COVID-19 crisis was at its peak, most businesses and companies across the world decided to plunge into uncharted territory by taking the necessary decision of shifting work and business operations online. The initial rush to push employees and company functions to the virtual hemisphere wasn’t without its hiccups. But soon after the dust settled in, remote work has become the ‘new normal’ for many multinational companies, global businesses, and enterprises the world over.
Facilitated by the right technological tools provided by new-age SaaS innovators, working from home has proven to be favorable to increased cost-effectiveness, employee satisfaction and productivity, and business profitability. Indeed, thanks to the availability of advanced remote working suites in the market today, companies have struck upon an increasingly popular alternative for cost-optimization and financial planning. Against this backdrop, let’s take a closer look at how work-from-home (or ‘WFH’) has been a game-changer for businesses and how the remotely enabled workplace is helping them bolster their financial planning:
- A customizable office, reduced overhead costs
Studies conducted amidst the pandemic have suggested that a typical business could save approximately $11,000 annually for every remotely working employee. There are clear advantages to saving on office-space rental costs, housekeeping and maintenance, operational costs, and more. Instead, companies can now leverage WFH platforms to enable seamless connectivity, communication, and collaboration between employees. Enforcing remote working models has empowered employers in the United States to save over $30 billion every day by eliminating costs related to real-estate, overhead expenses, travel subsidies, and other business operations.
- Curbing travel and commute expenses, lowering commute stress
Indians reportedly spent a good 7% of their day just to get to the office in the pre-pandemic times. These numbers add up not just for employees, but also the employer. For businesses that conventionally allocated a certain percentage of their funds to offer facilities such as office vehicles and employee travel allowance, the opportunity to enable work from home considerably eliminates these costs. Not just that but saving on the hassle of commuting also makes for improved employee mental well-being and fewer stressors, thus creating satisfied and more productive workers. A study has found that employees can save between $2,500 and $4,000 a year if they work remotely either half of the time or full-time from a less expensive location. This also brings us to the next financial advantage to bear in mind, namely employee productivity.
- Improved employee wellbeing and mental-health leads to gains in productivity
One of the most widely cited Stanford studies from 2013, seven years before remote working became the norm, is about the effect of remote working on the employees’ performance. It found that those working remotely were 13% more productive as compared to their counterparts working from the office. Reduced stress of daily commuting, the comfort and convenience of working from one’s home, lesser distractions from coworkers, a reprieve from loud and busy offices are among the factors contributing to the increased productivity of remote workers.
A recent Forrester Consulting survey commissioned by LogMeIn corroborates this, revealing that 75% of the workers want to continue with the remote working arrangement in the future. It also highlighted the effect of WFH on employees’ mental health, with 62% of the respondents asserting that they are happier when working remotely.
Besides bolstering the mental and emotional well-being of employees, WFH can help reduce the gender-gap especially for women who are forced to juggle parental and domestic responsibilities along with the office work. Working from home provides with better scope for focusing on childcare, domestic chores, pets, partners, etc. The net result points toward a better work-life balance, which only helps employers drive efficiency as well as employee retention in the long run.
- Expanding your talent pool, minus the extra costs
A lesser-known but interesting facet of remote work is that it truly enables businesses to diversify their workforce and make it more inclusive. By shifting to digital platforms that can be accessed remotely, employers can expand their hiring pool across geographical boundaries without the worries of visa and citizenship hurdles, travel costs, and more. Gone are the days of being limited to local talent, as working from home has considerably increased the employability of those from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Not just that, but your scope expands to groups like persons with disabilities as well as home-based caregivers in need of flexible schedules, making the range of perspectives much more inclusive. The influx of fresh talent from diverse backgrounds adds value to the business and brings fresh perspectives on board, thereby helping decision-making to become more progressive.
Considering these advantages, it is no wonder that companies have embarked on a journey towards a fully remote or hybrid model of the workplace. 451 Research highlights that nearly 64% of organizations have implemented expanded and long-term remote work policies while 35% of them are enforcing strategies to establish a tech-led workforce in the long run. The future is undeniably digital – the existing and emerging trends suggest that it is remote as well.