The Future of Work Might Include Moving Your Business
At the beginning of 2020, moving your business from its current location might not have been part of your yearly vision. And yet, for more than 80% of company leaders, this is exactly what happened when they chose to go remote during the pandemic.
In the past, moving your business to a new location has proven beneficial in a number of ways: a new location might give you more leverage in a certain market, allow you to serve more customers, curb overhead costs, and even expand talent acquisition.
But in the past year, “moving your business” has taken on new meaning. Instead of moving to one location, businesses are proliferating to multiple locations as many “offices” as there are employees. It’s one example of what the future of work may hold, and so far, a number of advantages are emerging:
Smaller (or No) Office Space
A recent report found that nearly 7 in 10 companies are planning to downsize their office space post-COVID. The pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way people work, including where they work. And even though remote work was only a short-term solution for some, others are planning to maintain remote opportunities at least in part, which reduces their need for office space.
Ditching the office can bring in substantial cost savings. For example, Nerdwallet notes that startups should budget anywhere from $100 to $1,000 per employee for office space PER MONTH! For a mid-size business with 250 employees, that’s anywhere from $25,000 to $250,000 per month in savings.
Companies can reallocate some of their office funds into establishing a sustainable workfrom-anywhere environment, including investing in software and benefits to support employees remotely.
More Operating Capital
The natural byproduct of slashing overhead is freeing up those funds to reinvest elsewhere in your business. When revenue is not tied up in rent, energy costs, furniture, and the plethora of other office expenses, companies can expand their operating capital to include cutting-edge technology and equipment, debt reduction, or even acquire a competitor.
You may also want to consider using some of the extra money to beef up your emergency fund, which may help you weather tough periods and keep your company afloat.
Access to Economic Development Programs
Many of the companies planning to abandon their office space in favor of a smaller facility are also ditching the large, expensive cities they’re currently in and moving to smaller locations with more favorable real estate prices.
When workers are largely remote, office location becomes less relevant. What’s more, companies may find that some cities will offer economic assistance, such as tax breaks and grants, to help them establish their business in a new location.
One of the biggest advantage’s companies have seen lately in the remote work model is an expanded talent pool. In the past, where people choose to live had a direct effect on where they chose to work. With a work from anywhere model, this is no longer the case. Companies can open up their talent pool to workers in other states and potentially shorten their talent acquisition timelines and costs.
On the flip side, employees are increasingly interested in continuing to work remotely. USA Today found that 30% of employees would quit their jobs if they had to return to the office after the pandemic. Flexjobs found similar results, with 27% of employees saying they would take a 10-20% pay cut if it meant working remotely. Overall, more employees report being happier with their work, feeling more engaged with the company, and being more productive when working remotely.
Additional benefits to the employee include:
• Lower cost of living expenses (e.g., no commute, eating lunch at home, living in low-cost areas, etc.)
• Better mental health
• Better work life balance
• Flexible schedule
• Fewer distractions
If companies want to hire best of breed talent, then considering remote work is becoming more of a necessity. More workers are actively seeking roles that will allow them the flexibility to work from anywhere, so the companies that can meet these expectations may have a better chance of securing and retaining top talent.
The Future of Work
While the future of work is anyone’s guess, the recent exercises in remote work indicate that this “trend” is here to stay. Companies that are ready to embrace remote work as the new normal can recognize immediate cost savings in terms of reduced overhead. As for those that aren’t quite ready to make the switch completely, reducing the office space can be a positive first step that offers noticeable benefits.
Need help navigating your downsize? Contact HiTouch Business Solutions to see how we can help.