Remote Working Pays
Remote Working is Equivalent to an
8% Increase in Salary
Remote Working is a rare Win-Win
According to a recent article in the Economist, remote or hybrid working is equivalent to an 8% increase in salary. So as an Employee would you take an 8% cut in salary if you were allowed to work from home for some of your working week? If you’re like me, you have to think about it.
The Return to Work initiative has surfaced a number of challenges for both the employer and the returning employee. Getting a hybrid model to work for your company saves money but also improves employee retention. It sounds so obvious the next question is how do you make it work?
 (The Value Of Clarity, April 9th-15th 2022)
The 4 Day Week
Working at home has given us a new level of flexibility in our lives that many of us have only dreamed of. Missing out on the morning commute has improved stress levels while dropping children to school and creche has become an event we look forward to. Maybe this bit is a little bit of guilty pleasure. A quiet house is a treat.
Getting to the desk earlier in an environment we can control has also given us a sense of control that we didn’t have previously. It’s hard to give up. The only downside is perhaps too many Teams or Zoom meetings, with the camera on and of course missing out on the social element that working on site provides.
There’s a lot to give up. Returning to the office full time, brings back a lot more activities that aren’t very value added. Spending time in the car stuck in traffic isn’t that enjoyable. It compresses our time doing other activities. Finding a desk is harder with many companies moving to Hot Desking, not to mention finding a car park space.
We are being asked to move to a work environment where we have to relinquish some control and go back to sharing space with a lot more people. For some, this is positive but there’s also a little more angst. Hygiene, hot desking, car parking and being too hot or too cold! And of course you are now back in smart casual or a suit, so no more lounge wear.
Providing staff with more control over their working lives including their work space can enhance the take up of hybrid working.
What’s the Employer’s Perspective?
There are a fixed costs on one side. Many employers have invested in infrastructure and buildings, with long term leases, that can’t be changed. There are reductions in variable costs including energy, facilities and catering costs. But why have a building if no one is there?
Having staff in the office does have non-monetary benefits. Some activities are easier to do in person. Ensuring the company culture and values are communicated and established is important, especially for new hires. Peter Drucker once said that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’, so building a culture and a set of behaviours can’t be ignored.
Many employees stay in companies because of the culture and the people they interact with. But how do you communicate this to someone who is new to the business but has never spent time with someone physically? Sometimes the informal organisation, the part that depends on human relationships, doesn’t develop, so work takes longer to get done and there’s less flexibility.
Is there a way for Employers to get the best of both worlds?
The first thing is to understand how the building is used and when. Sensors that can track occupancy, recording how many people entered a building or area and then allows companies to align the equipment and human resources needed to support staff. Over time it may become obvious that certain times like Friday afternoon, are dead periods where no staff are physically in the office. Equipment can be turned off and cleaning resources rescheduled or paused.
Taking the data collected and analysing it over time allows a company to make an informed decision about scheduling resources but also about managing space. Can the building be downsized based on demand, reoriented based on collaborative working or re-used and made more family friendly? Can the lease be renegotiated to reduce the costs to the business?
The Four Day Week.
Does the company decide to implement a four day week with all the staff retention benefits and the corresponding cost savings? If no one comes into the office on Friday should the building be closed that day?
All these choices become available once the data exists to make an informed decision.
Higher Productivity, with those working from home choosing to make more effort 48% of the time vs 35% for those not allowed to work from home.
Staff retention Improvements with Hybrid Working there is a 5% increase in ‘intent to stay’
Hybrid working allows the culture to develop but also tells staff they are trusted and valued. There is a 2.8% increase in performance.
Cost savings accrue to companies that understand their occupancy data allowing savings on facilities costs, energy and cleaning,
- Increased Productivity 13%
- Increase in staff ‘Intent to Stay’ 5%
- Increase in Performance 2.8%
- Reduction in cleaning Costs 25%