Cut Your Remote Overhead Expenses
One aftereffect of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it’s forever changed the way many of us work. First, there’s been a massive transition to remote work. Subsequently, 54 percent of employees want to continue working remotely. As a result, we’d all better get used to our virtual offices. The good news is that this also presents businesses with an opportunity to cut your remote overhead expenses.
If your company was based in an office location before, it could be tempting to continue with your old practices, shifted to a remote setting. But, instead, take the time to carry out an expense audit. Then, see where you can cut your remote overhead expenses now that you’re committed to running your business remotely.
1. Remote work can improve productivity
According to some estimates, businesses lose $600 billion every year due to distractions in the workplace. Employees working from home are generally more productive because they don’t have to deal with as many interruptions, distractions, or noises. Not to mention no more office politics!
If your employees are working more productively, then your costs will naturally decrease. Remember that tax requirements can vary between in-office and remote workers. Make sure you meet your specific state’s regulations.
2. Automate your accounts payable
Automating your accounts payable department can have the double benefit of cutting costs and increasing efficiency. For example, the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM) estimates that manually processing invoices costs between $8.78 to $5.81 per invoice. Above all, automation can decrease this between $2.44 and $1.77. Added up, that’s a significant saving. Suppliers like AvidXchange, Bill.com, Corpay One, and Vic.AI each have unique offerings in this area. More options are listed at our website AccoutingSoftwareWorld.com in the Accounts Payable section.
3. Outsource specific tasks to cut your remote overhead
Instead of hiring new contracted staff, consider outsourcing tasks to third parties. Outsourcing makes far more sense for occasional jobs as you’ll only need to pay for them as and when required. In addition, using freelancers can save you 20-30 percent per year, compared to paying an employee salary once you consider benefits like retirement funds and health insurance. We have discussed this concept in the past with our article on Outsourcing Tasks Can Do Wonders for Your Small Business.
Ensure you have a system for virtually onboarding employees. Use the same method for freelancers completing occasional tasks.
4. Update where necessary
Old website content management systems (CMS) might have been the right solution when you launched your business, but as technology changes, they can end up holding you back. The time and money needed to keep an old monolithic style CMS updated can end up costing you more than making the switch to a new version. CMS that provides microservices has the added benefit of helping to enhance your customer’s user experience.
It’s also worth checking through which subscription-based tools you might be signed up for yet not using. $10 per month for access to stock photography or graphic design tools might not seem like much, but by subscribing to a range of different services, they all add up. Make a note of your subscription services and how often you use them per month. For those that aren’t paying their way, either cancel or look at switching to a pay-per-use model instead.
5. Keep meetings to a minimum to cut your remote overhead
Meetings might be vital to keep everyone in the loop, but do we need so many of them? According to some estimates, businesses spend $37 billion every year in the US for unproductive meetings. Consider the far better impact if a portion of that time and money was spent elsewhere. The amount of time employees spend in meetings has been steadily increasing since 2008.
Remote meetings are particularly unproductive, as it’s hard for attendees to remain engaged. Cut down on all but the most important meetings, and make sure only required staff who need to be there attend. Use these tips to increase meeting productivity:
- Keep meetings under 30 minutes
- Send agendas and supplementary material in advance
- Start and end on time
- Stay focused
- Write down essential action points to distribute after the meeting
If you’ve decided to make a permanent switch to remote working, there are plenty of ways you can use this as an opportunity to cut your remote overhead expenses and increase your profits as a result. Cloud computing has certainly made this easier. Use these tips to get started!