Among other changes to our working lives, the pandemic has forced many of us to do business remotely in order to keep ourselves safe.
Initially, remote working would have been extremely challenging for the majority, but it’s something that many people have fully adjusted to by now.
There are many benefits to working remotely, which is why some businesses have chosen to incorporate remote working into their business permanently.
Last year, social media giant Twitter announced that if their employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home, then they can continue to do so forever.
This was due in part to the fact that their work-from-home measures had proved to be extremely successful but, for the rest of us, should small businesses, sole traders and partnerships still invest in office space or work remotely?
We’ve weighed up the pros and cons of remote working to help you with your decision:
Advantages of remote working
Rent and utilities: If most of your team is working from home, you won’t need to pay for larger premises, saving money on rent and utilities.
Cleaning services: With minimal staff onsite, your cleaning services bill is likely to significantly to decrease.
Taxes: There are three factors that determine a company’s tax burden: payroll, sales and property. Making changes to accommodate remote workers could also impact your tax burden in a positive way.
Spending less on your commute: This will leave you with a healthier bank account. Just think back on all the money you have spent on paying for your transportation, parking tickets, vehicle maintenance and even eating lunch out. All of these savings become really apparent and obvious when working remotely.
Reduce your carbon footprint
Additionally, by not commuting to work, you are reducing your carbon footprint. Not only are you saving costs on fuel or fares, but you’re also contributing your efforts to being more environmentally friendly.
Cutting out time on your commute can bag you an extra hour in bed, or you can use the time doing something you enjoy.
Working remotely can also offer you more control and flexibility over your work schedule, which helps create a better work-life balance.
Whether it’s dropping your kids off at school, running some errands, attending an online fitness class in the morning, or being home for a contractor, these tasks (and more) are all easier to balance when you work from home.
Disadvantages of remote working
If all your staff are working from home then you could be at risk of having security issues. It’s harder to know whether your employee’s laptop or device has a virus or another technical issue when they are working from home.
Therefore, security training may need to be provided for all employees, which could impact cost savings. Additionally, you may need to invest in new ways to protect your data.
It isn’t a good fit for everyone
For some working from home just doesn’t work for them. Some people may find that their productivity reduces whilst being home or they may miss the human interaction they normally get in the office.
One of the most important things that is missing in a remote work arrangement is proper communication among colleagues.
In the office, it’s so easy to approach any colleague whenever you want to discuss something in person.
However, as a remote worker, you have to rely on instant messaging, emails and video calls to communicate with your team members.
While video conferencing can be a solution, it can never be as effective as talking to someone who is sitting right next to you.
Making a decision to carry on working remotely after the pandemic is something that really comes down to what works best for you, your business and employees.
Here at Cooper Accounting, we can help you further with this query and put a plan in place to support your broader objectives.
We offer bespoke guidance and advice to sole traders, partnerships and small businesses.
Get in touch to set up an informal consultation.