Train Strikes - One of the Compelling Reasons for Home Working
Should you abandon your offices in favour of permanent home working?
Train strikes wouldn't be such a problem.
What other factors influence this decision?
The first sum we calculated was a typical commute time of one hour each way. We worked out how many days an employee visits the office taking into account holidays and sick leave. This came out around 228 days including 4 days of sickness (dept of statistics average).
The first sum: 228 (days) x 2 hours (commute) = 556 hours
The second sum: 556 (hours) divided by 7.5 (daily working hours) = 74 days
That’s 74 days lost commuting! Two and a half months sitting in trains or traffic.
Of course it’s the employee time that’s lost and they have to pay for it.
BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYEES
So the first benefit of the virtual office is the removal of commuting.
The benefits for employees are:
- An extra hour in bed in the morning
- An extra hour with the family after work
- No costs of commuting
- Reduced risk of being late for work, catching colds on crowded trains and buses
- Reduced stress and no cancelled trains or road accidents
- Greater convenience when home deliveries or boiler maintenance is required
Of course some employees may not have a good working environment at home, so it won’t suit everybody.
BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYERS
More maths: cost of business rent + cost of business rates + employers liability insurance + office cleaning expenses + telephone + utility bills + office furniture + internet costs + alarm system costs
Phew – expensive! Not so with a virtual office. For example an annual saving of £10,000 for business rates added to expensive rent amounts to a small fortune. There’s also the administration time of dealing with all the bills and suppliers required to run the office. Over 5 to 10 years all these costs are pure expenses and don't add to the value of the company.
You still need to provide employees with computers and telephone systems but it’s easy with today’s cloud storage and internet telephones. Traditional phone systems can be replaced by headsets with microphones. As everybody uses ZOOM or Microsoft Teams meetings are easy. Many firms are using cloud-based servers already.
The Covid lockdown was a good proving ground for home working.
Of course some businesses require an office but many are hanging on to the notion that you can’t control staff remotely and you can’t replace the human interaction factor. The counter-argument is that human interaction is often time wasting discussing football results, and you can’t watch what every member of staff is doing when they’re in the office.
Some companies are offering home working at reduced salaries, the logic being that employees get an easier life and no commuting costs.
If your employees can gain 74 days of their personal time, there is an case for reducing salaries and/or holiday entitlement, the latter being a logical decision.
To maintain good management in a virtual environment you need good IT systems, centralised filing of emails and a good CRM with time recording and automation e.g. Logical Office which can be used remotely from anywhere.
Regular online meetings are essential too for a team spirit, progress meetings and brainstorming.
Not having an office doesn’t prevent real-world meetings either, and they’re probably better for it.
Another massive benefit for employers is the ability to hire staff anywhere in your time zone so anywhere in the UK or abroad. People who have to work from home are then equally eligible for employment, and part-time working is easier to implement.
Home working may not suit everybody, but there are clearly enough benefits for both employees and employers to make the leap, or consider partial home working as an alternative to the totally virtual office.
If you want to find out more about how Logical Office helps home working and office efficiency, get in touch.
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