Cutting costs doesn’t have to mean compromising on productivity. In fact, in the age of cloud computing and remote work, it can mean quite the opposite. More and more businesses are migrating to a fully virtualized digital environment that enables complete workplace flexibility and business scalability. Many of these factors also rely on small changes, as well as finding the optimal balance between cost-control and efficiency.
Here are six ways you can reduce office expenses:
- Reduce reliance on printing
- Automate routine operations
- Focus on employee skills
- Migrate to cloud computing
- Keep a remote work policy
- Use energy-saving products
Despite the ubiquity of cloud computing, businesses are spending more on printing than ever. It remains a significant cost in many document-heavy organizations, such as finance and law firms. Consumables like paper and toner are often just the beginning, it also costs a lot to purchase and maintain office printers capable of handling the necessary workloads. While having a robust printing policy will help reduce costs, you can further save money by digitizing things like invoices and using electronic signatures for contracts.
Sage advice holds that any repeatable operation that can be automated should be automated. That’s not to say that machines are suddenly going to take all our jobs, however. In fact, the rise of artificial intelligence and automation will create millions more jobs than it replaces over the coming years. Automation frees up employee time to focus on more rewarding tasks that only they can do, while also reducing the risk of human error.
It typically takes upwards of six months for a new hire to achieve maximum productivity. Thus, high employee turnover rates can end up being one of the biggest avoidable expenses. If you want to retain your best staff, it’s important that they have the opportunity to hone their skills and focus on their core competencies. The last thing you should be doing is taking them away from their regular jobs to focus on ancillary activities that are better off being outsourced or automated. Focusing on distinct skill sets and career paths will help you retain the best talent and greatly reduce hiring costs over the longer term.
Businesses spend an average of 3.28% of their yearly budgets on IT, despite it being one of the areas ripe for optimization and cost control. In fact, reliance on dated in-house resources can increase costs much further through stunted productivity and lack of flexibility. More and more companies are finding a way around this by migrating to the cloud. Virtualized computing with desktops, servers, and other resources hosted in the cloud practically eliminates the need for break/fix technical support, while consolidating major expenses into predictable monthly fees.
While many employees are undoubtedly looking forward to getting back to the office once work from home orders introduced to curb the spread of the pandemic are lifted, many more will prefer to stay at home. Remote work affords a better work-life balance and, for many staff, improved productivity. For businesses, the cost benefits are clear, they don’t need so much office space, and they can also let their employees use their own devices for work. Adopting a permanent flexible work environment also lets businesses tap into talent around the world.
Sometimes, it’s the small changes that make a significant impact, both on cost control and the environment. For example, upgrading all your office lighting to energy-efficient LED light bulbs can reduce electricity bills substantially. You can also automate these utilities so that they’re automatically turned off when not in use. The same goes for workstations and other computing devices, all of which have power plans you can tweak for the optimal compromise between performance and energy consumption.
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