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This article was written by Garret Flower, CEO and Founder of ParkOffice.
When it comes to savings, companies often think very linearly. You are trying to reduce direct spending on staff, marketing, and so on. This has been the case for generations, but I believe this mindset tends to overlook the myriad of ways companies can identify and eliminate certain “invisible overheads”. It is time for companies to take advantage of the butterfly effect and identify the seemingly trivial things in their business that enable significant savings.
Management of back to the office has the potential to become very expensive for many companies. Fortunately, the pandemic has made an explosion in the Digitization of many workforces. This opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to the cost of go back to work.
So what should companies watch out for to make sure they are spending smartly while working smartly?
Avoid spending too much on maintenance and cleaning
With the return of the office, it seems sensible to double the cleaning and maintenance functions. Hygiene is of tremendous importance in fighting COVID-19, but in my opinion, aimlessly increasing spending here could be a cost that you just don’t need.
Think about it: With hybrid work, large parts of your office are empty for large parts of the week. Investing in good maintenance management software can save a lot of money. It would allow you to switch from ongoing flat-rate coverage to on-demand coverage. Gone are the days of maintenance staff patrolling the office looking for work to get done. With technology, everything can be reported and answered promptly and efficiently.
Get a handle on employee parking
Even poor parking management for employees before the pandemic costs companies a lot of money and also took its toll on employees. Research shows that up to 23% of the employees give up at some point in your professional life due to a difficult commute.
When employees return to the offices, the focus on parking will multiply. On the one hand, the reluctance to use public transport will boost demand. On the other hand, due to the hybrid working, the demand will be much more unpredictable.
Good software for parking space management ensures that the parking chaos never raises its ugly head again. By monitoring demand, providing real-time availability and automating parking allocation companies, all parking problems can be eliminated at the push of a button.
In the long term, the data and findings help companies determine the required parking space and thereby achieve greater direct savings through real estate reductions. Other benefits include increased productivity and time management for employees, and possibly even reduced stress.
Be careful with real estate reproduction
As the world of work opens up again, employers will see an increasing demand for off-site coworking. Research through the Enterprisers project shows that 83% of Americans believe a hybrid work model is preferable for them after the pandemic. I realize that many employees don’t want to return to work five times a week, but want to escape from the storage room.
Suburban coworking offices can benefit as companies fund their employees to work closer to home in more formalized shared environments. This all sounds great, except that most companies are already spending a lot of money on real estate for their office workers.
Tracking and balancing these flexible work expenses becomes more difficult over time. How does a company keep track of how often an employee uses their external hotdesk? How do you know when an employee decided to return to the office full-time?
Introducing a robust real estate spend management solution is a big step here for businesses to find their sweet spot and keep real estate waste to a minimum.
Don’t leave the lights on when no one is home
In the last ten years, intelligent lighting and heating systems in workplaces have increased noticeably. But again, in the context of the post-pandemic landscape, I believe that now is the most urgent time to make sure your business is secure.
Since entire floors may be unused on certain days of the week when companies find their hybrid work balance, companies can hardly afford to have lighting and heating for the entire building when demand is limited.
The advancement in IoT hardware and complementary SaaS solutions makes these systems very accessible for companies of all sizes and the return on investment is very measurable.
Beware of the catch-all software
One little warning I offer companies when they return is to be careful when buying software solutions. The pandemic got a lot of companies rolling, which means the market is now inundated with SaaS products that are still trying to figure out what they are doing. In other words, they don’t do what it says on the tin.
My advice is to avoid the one stop shop solutions that promise to do it all under the sun. Quite often, these software are expensive bugs. Once you purchase the solution, you realize that it does not have the features or product experience you need to solve the problem at hand.
You then have to embark on a whole new product journey to buy specialty products that eliminate the problems. Save time and money and buy the best products to solve your problems from day one.
Garret Flower is the CEO and co-founder of ParkOffice.io, employee parking management software that enables companies to optimize employee parking.
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