Should You Let Your Employees Telecommute to Save on Overhead?

In tough times of economic hardship, small businesses need to do everything they can to cut costs, save expenses, and keep their bottom line out of the red. One option brought up regularly by employees is telecommuting.

When an employee telecommutes, he or she works from home, but is able to perform all the necessary functions of the job description. By keeping employees at home, a business can downsize their office space and save on overhead costs.

Many types of small to medium sized businesses are experiencing the joy of expense reduction by employee telecommuting. For the most part, employees who do not have any customer interaction could feasibly work from home.

A typical and partial list of employees who fit this description might be bookkeepers, customer service representatives, graphic designers, webmasters, and copywriters. Each one of these type of employees could feasibly do most of their work duties from home with a company phone line routed to a home phone, and home computer connected to the internet and the company’s own servers.

If a company absolutely cannot have an employee away from the office full time, there is another idea for space downsizing. Some companies have instituted floating desks or job sharing.

A floating desk could be shared by more than one employee. For instance, say employee #1 works from home three days a week while employee #2 works in the office on the same three days. On the other days, the employees switch; employee #2 works from home while employee #1 works at the office for two days. This allows the employees to stay in touch with permanent staff and collect work to take home, and the company only requires half the office space.

Job sharing is similar, except that two employees work part time to share a single full-time job. This could also save the company on employee benefit expenses if benefits are not offered to part time employees.

The bottom line is that small businesses need strategies to stay afloat. By downsizing space rather than employees, a company can save jobs and still continue to be successful. If you have an opportunity to downsize space, consider this as a first option to help your business and the economy.

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