Need to Cut Payroll? Here's a Painless Solution
Are you running a technology business? Or do you have tech people on staff? Tech people aren't cheap, and there can be demand for certain skills can be high. Every business would love to have a loyal, hardworking, skilled set of tech workers for less money than they currently have, right? How can you do this? Telecommuting.
A new study by GetVOIP says that, on average, tech workers would be willing to take a 7.9 percent pay cut in order to have the privilege of working from home.
Money is a powerful motivator, but not the only one. Shortening the commute from an hour (not uncommon in high tech areas such as Silicon Valley) to three minutes, being able to spend more time with their families, and even having more time to do actual work can all be considered perks by many employees.
A survey earlier this year by Kona/Sodahead showed that 70 percent of people would prefer to work at home. Combine the results in these two surveys and you'll see a plain picture for an easy way to cut costs, increase productivity and employee happiness: Telecommuting.
Not every tech employee is willing to take a paycut to work from home--in fact it's almost half at 47 percent, but that still leaves you with 53 percent who would be interested. And at high tech salaries, GetVOIP estimates you could save almost $7,000 for each tech worker who did work from home.
Another way to save money with telecommuting is to consider whether you really need your tech employees to come into the office with any regularity. The less they need to be physically present, the farther away they can live from the office. If that lets you recruit from areas with lower costs of living, you can reduce your salary costs even more.
Additionally, if you don't have to have to provide space for each of your employees, your physical facilities can be smaller, and therefore less costly. Even expenses such as utilities can drop without as many lights and computers to power up. Employers don't generally reimburse their telecommuters for their home utilities. (Although your employees would certainly appreciate it if you did.)
Telecommuting isn't the answer to every problem. Some employees do not work well from home. Some jobs require frequent face-to-face collaboration. Some people just don't want to work from home or have home environments that aren't conducive to working well from home. There is something to be gained by spending in-person time with co-workers.
But telecommuting is still definitely something to be considered. After all, if you can get the same quality (or better!) work, with happier employees for less money, it's at least worth a look.
SUZANNE LUCAS | Columnist
Suzanne Lucas spent 10 years in corporate human resources, where she hired, fired, managed the numbers, and double-checked with the lawyers.