Why a Hybrid Work Model Could Save Companies Billions of Dollars per Year

Author: Tyler Cox

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When the COVID-19 pandemic caught fire in early 2020 and the term “social distancing” became a regular part of our vocabulary, businesses of all types revamped their operating strategy. One of the most significant changes was a shift to remote work. Nearly all employees who could do their job from a home office did so.

 

And while it’s challenging to think about anything resembling a silver lining when it comes to the pandemic, the shift to a hybrid business model offers the potential for businesses to save billions. That model, where workers who can do their jobs remotely at least part of the time continue to do so, is likely to remain for the long term as businesses implement cost-saving initiatives as part of the economic recovery.

 

A recent report from consulting firm Global Workplace Analytics estimates that companies could save as much as $11,000 per employee with a move to a hybrid work model. Benefits include increased productivity, lower real estate costs, and reduced absenteeism.

 

Multiplying those savings by the estimated 48 million U.S. employees working from home at least part of the time indicates businesses around the country could save more than $500 billion by adopting a hybrid model. With cutting costs in business more important than ever, the model is a no-brainer.

 

Workers benefit as well

With labor shortages reaching crisis proportions, a hybrid model can be a significant perk that helps attract and retain employees. The Global Workplace Analytics report found that 82% of those working from home wish to continue doing so at least part of the time once the threat of COVID-19 is over. A third of those workers said they would take a pay cut of up to 5% if allowed to continue working remotely, and nearly a fourth said they’d take a 10% pay cut.

 

The benefits for workers extend beyond improved morale. The report estimates that employees could save as much as $6,000 a year by working from home due to reduced travel, parking, and food costs. In addition, each worker could gain the equivalent of 14 days of free time over the year by eliminating their commute on the days they work from home.

 

Society as a whole could reap benefits as well. Reducing the amount of traffic on the roads during rush hour would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent more than 80,000 traffic accident injuries or deaths, the report estimates, even when considering additional driving on work-from-home days.

 

Investing in employees

One of the challenges businesses face when it comes to adopting a hybrid work model is ensuring employees have the tools they need to be productive from their home office. To address that challenge, some have begun offering additional stipends for those working from home to cover costs such as Internet service, database subscriptions, and equipment purchases. Others reimburse workers for specific equipment purchases or purchase equipment directly for employees to use.

 

Although those stipends or purchases may seem to be an additional burden for businesses already struggling to remain profitable, they’re likely to be more than offset by cost savings in office space and other corporate cost reductions. GWA estimates that outfitting employees with a home office costs around $670/employee/year, compared with the savings of nearly $11k/employee/year via the hybrid work model.

 

Need advice on the right work from home equipment to help implement a hybrid work strategy? Yamaha Unified Communications is ready to assist with equipment to outfit any home office.