Cut Costs and Boost Employee Morale with Flexible Working
officebroker.com investigates the nature of flexible working and how it can be utilized to produce a low-cost, motivated working environment.
Flexible working can help boost employee morale and keep office costs low
Research claims that flexible working can help to cut costs, boost employee morale and improve productivity in your business. When combined with a flexible executive suite, there are many options available to help businesses lower the cost of managing an office, which is especially beneficial during an economic downturn.
Flexible working has a number of variations. For some, it means working from home during the week. For others, it simply means adjusting their hours slightly to fit in with the school run.
Many companies are becoming more open to flexible working terms. This can be for many reasons, such as helping to boost morale, improve productivity, or as a method to reduce costly overheads.
For firms that use a flexible working scheme, especially where workers are out of the office on specific days, introducing a hot-desking system can help to make the most out of office space, whilst keeping costs low.
Hot desking is a popular rotation system, where one desk is shared between two or more employees. The process involves employees who work from home on specific days allowing their desk to be used by another worker, and vice versa. This system allows business owners to pay for just one desk, but to maximize its potential by sharing it amongst several employees.
This is especially beneficial for businesses that use serviced offices and executive suites. This type of office agreement is usually leased on a cost per workstation basis; therefore a quick way to cut down on overheads - especially during an economic decline - is to limit and share the number of desks used.
Working from home
Firms that allow their staff to work from home during the week are actively helping to reduce their overhead costs. Whether it's for all or just part of the week, working from home means less resources used in the office building - such as electricity, heating and water.
According to a recent survey by Citrix, one fifth of respondents in the US said they would give up 5% of their salary to be able to work away from the office just one or two days a week. However, the report states that 56% never get the opportunity.
Working from home or from a more convenient location can create an enormous boost for morale, and will also generate a number of other benefits for the employee, such as reduced commuting costs, and a quieter working environment.
According to Bernd Christiansen, vice president and CTO at Citrix, managers are beginning to appreciate the benefits of remote working.
"The notion that virtual workplaces are beneficial is very challenging to some companies. There are lots of good reasons to have workers remote,” says Christiansen, adding: “The tools to manage remote workers are now available.” (Source: www.ecommercetimes.com)
While the benefits of allowing employees to work remotely are becoming more apparent, it does not replace the need for a central office space. Many firms that utilize flexible or remote working continue to maintain a head office or executive suite. Some prefer to switch to a virtual office. Both options offer excellent cost-saving benefits and are available to rent through officebroker.com - contact our advisors to find out more!
Consolidate desk space
Firms that use an open-plan working environment, where staff are spread out in different rooms or floors, can consider the possibility of consolidating desks in order to free up more office space.
This is a useful exercise that can lead to significant financial gain. For example, if a firm uses three floors of a building, but manages to move all staff comfortably onto two floors, the remaining vacant floor can be closed off. This could result in a cut of one-third off the cost of heating and electricity bills - just by consolidating desks and making more use of available office space.
For businesses that operate on a serviced office or flexible executive suite agreement, the empty space could even be handed back to the office provider - therefore saving money on rent as well as rates.
While the above methods - remote working, reducing energy use and consolidating office space - can be beneficial to businesses, it also has a positive knock-on effect for the environment.
Allowing staff to work from home cuts out emissions produced by travelling to work. Furthermore, consolidating desks and closing down unused parts of the office can help reduce harmful CO2 emissions.
A report by the United Nations Environment Programme's Sustainable Construction and Building Initiative (www.unepsbci.org) states that emissions from the building sector accounts for 30-40% of global energy use. The report highlights that typically over 80% of the total energy consumption of a building takes place during its use, rather than its construction. That is, when energy is being used for heating, cooling, lighting, ventilation and so on.
Ideally, new buildings should utilize greener benefits such as thermal insulation, solar shading and more efficient lighting and electrical appliances. Take a look at our LEED property assessment article for more details on green building standards.
But until then, we can all do our bit and help to cut down on emissions by reducing unnecessary energy use. This can be as straight-forward as switching off light switches or computer monitors at the end of the day. In fact, if you have any other useful tips for saving office energy, get in touch below to share your views!
Benefits for you
If you're considering moving to a serviced office, or you want to try a more flexible working arrangement, speak to one of our office experts for free help and guidance.
Our consultants will explain the benefits of flexible executive suites and services offices, and will help you find the office to suit you in your preferred location. Best of all, our services are completely free and impartial, and we'll even call you back to save your phone bill!