Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), could save tens of thousands of pounds a year by allowing flexible working and downsizing due to a lower number of staff in the workplace.
Recent research from PowWowNow, a conference call provider, revealed that SMEs in London could save an average of £1,544 a month if they allow 20 per cent of their workforce to work remotely. If this number was increased to 30 per cent of staff working from home, these organisations could save over £2,370 per month.
Out of the different sectors, companies in the finance and insurance industries would have the highest savings of around £27,970 a year by permitting one in five employees to work remotely.
Along with London, the regions most likely to save money from utilising flexible working are Northern Ireland (£7,772 a year), the South East (£7,192) and Scotland (£6,926).
By accounting for the 16,455 SMEs in London, according to figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), these businesses could save a combined total of over £306 million annually.
Jason Downes, managing director of PowWowNow, said:
Office rent is one of the biggest overheads for SMEs after salaries. With commercial rent costs increasing rapidly in the capital, and a younger workforce prioritising flexibility over pay, SMEs need to seriously reconsider their basic office space requirements. Priorities should include whether these could be reimagined to help to cut costs, attract talent, and ultimately, promote productivity.
This comes after yesterday’s news (2nd September 2019) where the TUC revealed that over 64 per cent found that flexible working is unavailable to them and 30 per cent of flexible working requests have been turned down by employers. Due to this, the TUC has joined the Flex for All campaign which has launched a petition to legally require flexible working to be available to all workers from the day they start a job.
This research combined official Business Population Estimates from BEIS and commercial rent costs collated by Colliers International along with research provided by PowWowNow.
Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.