Benefits to businesses and employees of new ways of working
New ways of working in response to Covid-19 can provide benefits to businesses and employees that may be desirable to retain and embed in the longer term.
Many of the benefits are derived through adoption of flexible working arrangements such as working from home, and by implementing related practices that support business productivity and efficiency.
PDF version of benefits available here
Cost savings for businesses
- Reduced office/floor space requirements provide opportunities to consolidate property and associated assets
- Reduced office expenses e.g. energy, water, stationary expenses
- Reduced direct business travel, accommodation and allowance expenses for meetings and trips now conducted via ICT
- Lost-time savings from no travel for meetings / trips
- Reduced fleet vehicle requirements
Cost saving for employees
- Reduced costs from commuting to work if previously travelling by car or public transport (fuel, rego, tolls, fares).
- Removes opportunity cost for other financial activities precluded by commuting, such as working more, reducing childcare requirements, etc.
- Potentially enables broader lifestyle decisions (e.g. around housing location, car ownership) that enable a lower financial cost base.
- Tele and video meetings can be more focussed and outcomes-oriented, if run effectively
- Tech tools can enable interactive engagement and collaboration with large audiences
- Can be less workplace distractions / any disruption rarely impacts the whole team
- Use of new business tools and skills can result in adoption of more efficient and effective processes.
- More effective use of everyone’s time.
- Staff often feel more empowered and autonomous, leading to well documented productivity increases
- Opportunities for staff to work broader bandwidth of hours / organisation can operate across more time zones
- More ownership of outcomes and responsibility for tasks and more time to focus on tasks at hand
- Implementing ICT and upskilling staff brings productivity improvements and can result in adoption of new, more effective tools
- Employees generally report higher levels of engagement in their work
- Better work life balance
- Time saved commuting can be used for other things - can lead to happier and healthier employees, less lost time and sick days, and more fulfilled, motivated, effective and productive staff.
- Less likelihood of contracting Covid-19 and some other communicable diseases
- Opportunities for employees to work when it suits them
- More time to exercise before and after work or throughout the day is well documented in terms of helps manage stress
- Opportunities to learn and adopt good mental and physical health practices
- Increase in walking and cycling to work provides, on average, more than the national guidelines for physical activity each day, delivering health benefits.
- Ownership and accountability for tasks leads to greater engagement and satisfaction metrics
- Seen as an employer of choice - improved talent recruitment and retention versus companies that do not embrace flexible and remote working
- Can access broader pool of talent that isn’t as constrained by geography / living nearby
- Opportunities for more local business activity
- Online delivery of goods and services booming
- Service redesign opportunities for tele-delivery of many services that no longer require face-to-face delivery
- Online collaboration becoming better understood and producing outcomes
- Opportunities to revise inventory and supply arrangements
- Co2 reductions from reduced car, plane and public transport usage,
- Increase in active transport for short trips
- Energy and water efficiencies from reduced office usage and footprint
- Investments in ICT and staff training in its use provide opportunities for efficiency and productivity gains as well as to improve employee motivation and satisfaction.
- Change has forced many organisations and individuals to learn new skills and think outside the box, redefine processes and think about more effective ways of working.
- New ways of working provide opportunities for new and more effective methods of teamwork and collaboration.
- ICT upgrades provide for more processes to be conducted remotely and at higher speed.
- More automation of simple and repetitive tasks.
- Greater understanding of key roles and responsibilities in a crisis and how to respond quickly and effectively.
- Investment in ICT and staff upskilling to enable new ways of working already made, can now be rolled out for a variety of contingencies.
- Split teams/shifts have resulted in teams being able to operate more effectively on a limited resourcing profile.
- Sustainability credentials can be improved and recognised
- Likely to be more recognition, awareness and tolerance of staff working in challenging circumstances, such as those caring for children, sick or the elderly.
- Contribute to enabling essential and emergency workers travel safely and efficiently