During the coronavirus pandemic, many of us were forced to work from home as a result of the numerous lockdowns.
Although there have been found to be many benefits to working from home for employees, how has remote working affected the economy? Let’s find out.
Saving Businesses Money
Data from Global Workplace Analytics estimated that companies can save an average of around £6,810 per year for every employee that spends at least half of their time working remotely.
Where Can Savings Be Made?
- Around £1,857 is saved per employee in reduced office sizes and utility bills.
- £3,350 is saved per employee by increased productivity.
- £464 per employee is saved by decreasing turnover via increased flexibility and employee happiness.
- £681 per employee is saved as employees are less likely to take sick days when working from home.
Employees that either work from home full time or in a hybrid workplace (working from home and the office) can also benefit financially.
Thousands of pounds each year can be saved on fuel, car maintenance, car insurance, public transport, work attire/uniform and eating out at lunch time.
Boosting the Office Architecture and Design Sector
After having seen the numerous benefits of working from home for both employers and employees, many businesses have made the decision to implement hybrid working as a permanent solution, even after the pandemic ended.
As a result, thousands of offices will need to be redesigned to become effective hybrid workplaces, allowing employees to work collaboratively whether they are in the office or working remotely.
This will give a much needed boost to the office architects and designers that will be carrying out these significant changes to the office layouts.
Boosting Technology Companies
Similarly, businesses choosing to implement hybrid operations may need to purchase new technology to facilitate working from home and in the office.
For example, companies may need to improve their video conferencing software as well as their monitors, video cameras and speakers for more collaborative working.
Businesses may also wish to implement cloud services in order to allow workers to access their files online from anywhere and provide desktop computers for home workers or laptops for hybrid workers to transport between home and the office.
Boosting Home Improvement Companies
If people continue to work from home more frequently than they did prior to the pandemic, they are more likely to spend money on improving their homes.
In 2020, people spent more on adapting their houses for new uses, such as a new home office space, and paid more attention to issues that are usually ignored.
Having made significant savings from reduced travel, more money could be put towards home improvement projects.
The House Market
The ability to work remotely as opposed to attending the office every day generated a surge of buying and selling homes as people required extra space for a home office and realised that they no longer need to live close to their workplace for commuting.
Estate agents have found that hybrid workers, particularly those raising families, would rather live in quieter areas and make a longer commute to the office a few times a week.
Jamie Johnson of FJP Investment has addressed how these changes have affected, and are affecting, the housing market:
“Our research suggests that homeowners across the UK are rethinking what they want and need from the place they live, with people’s social and professional priorities shifting markedly over the past two years,” he says.
FJP’s research found that almost a quarter (23%) of people said that an increase in home-working had made them reconsider what they wanted from their property, including 44% of the younger generation too.
Over a quarter (27%) of people surveyed said that having a dedicated office space at home is now more important. Although this isn’t possible in every home, having a spare bedroom or even a ‘zone’ in a living space is preferable.
An additional 44% of respondents value space more highly than before, both indoor and outdoor. 26% specifically focused on the importance of the square footage of a prospective property.
“Evidently, the advent of remote working has had a tangible impact in what type of residential properties buyers – particularly younger ones – are looking to invest in. Looking ahead, homebuyers’ changing imperatives are likely to accelerate developer innovation.”
Which Sectors Are Losing Out from Home Working?
Office Maintenance and Cleaning Services
During the pandemic, office cleaners and maintenance workers saw an increase in demand for workplaces that continued to operate, however, they also saw a decrease as many offices closed and employees worked from home.
Of course, hybrid offices will still require cleaning and maintenance but any businesses that have shifted to remote working altogether will no longer need these services.
With less people travelling to their workplaces using buses, trains, trams as often as before, the public transport sector is losing out.
Looking to Make Your Business More Flexible?
If you’ve seen all of the improvements of remote working for businesses and want to implement flexible working for your organisation, get in touch with Ryans today to discuss how best to carry out the changes and create an effective business plan.