Why The Hybrid Work Force Is A Bad Idea.

As corporate America wrestles with decisions on how to deploy its’ workforce, there seem to be those who believe a “hybrid” model between working from home and entering an office each day may be the most effective. Well……Not so fast my friends.

There are several factors to consider in this model. First, ask yourself: “how do I get the most out of an employee”? American employers seemed to have forgotten the purpose of a workforce is to be “productive”, to produce for their company and increase the company profits. Recently I read a survey of 1000 employees addressing the value of a “work from home” or “dispersed” workforce. In this survey, nearly 100% stated that they preferred working from home and would give up benefits or even future pay raises to stay at home. We also found in our own study of over 250 “work from home” corporate employees that they actually work longer hours. Usually, getting to work is not the issue with employees working at home, its actually shutting down and transforming from employee to normal life.

Additionally, we found that people working from home were concerned they may be terminated if their superiors didn’t see productivity from them or voiced concerns about being brought back into the office if it was perceived they were not being as productive as they were back in pre-pandemic times when they went into an office. So, not surprisingly, people found working from home to be a benefit. This created a win/win scenario for both parties.

We also found that the average employee spent one hour preparing for work in the morning, one hour to commuting to and from work. Of course, this varies throughout America depending on traffic and distance to work but three hours of “unproductive” time was being wasted when it could have been put towards working at home and this is what we found in our survey. Most of the people we surveyed said they spend at least 1- ½ hours of that time working instead of commuting or getting ready.

Perhaps the biggest cost benefit to a “work from home solution”, like HomeWerx, is the savings a corporate office requires. Not only do you have the cost of the square footage of a cubical for an employee (national average of $130/Sq. Ft.), but you have all the ancillary cost associated with an employee entering an office building. Parking, insurance, energy costs, office supplies, connectivity costs and refreshment costs, etc. add up significantly. Workers Compensation is still required in a home-based office solution, but the rates drastically decrease based on risk within one’s home. Another cost not often discussed is the cost of HR related claims in an office environment. These claims can range anywhere from $30,000 per claim to over $1M. With a dispersed workforce, HR claims drop to nearly nothing.

All of these costs on average equate to around $30,000 per year, per employee. With a work from home solution like HomeWerx offers, these costs are drastically reduced or eliminated altogether. And….The HomeWerx solution is a subscription that complies with IRS Code 263 “tangible asset” which means it becomes an expense item immediately.

A Hybrid solution doesn’t take advantage of any of these cost benefits or productivity gains. Whether an employee works in an office 2 or 3 days each week doesn’t matter. All the cost incurred with an in-office employee remain the same while desks are empty two or three days each week, then you have the added expense of sending an employee home as well. Costs such as connectivity, software to access the network remotely and secure the connection and laptop type hardware are required in a hybrid model. In a home-based model, employees can access the corporate network using thin client-based desktop technology. This reduces the costs of a mobile solution by 30%!

Solutions like the HomeWerx “Work from Home Solution” or “Office as a Service” model also reduces or eliminates the need for desktop support technicians and Helpdesk analysts. Since HomeWerx includes 24×7 technical help for things such as: password resetting, application assistance, hardware troubleshooting or escalation or warm transfers to corporate staff for in house application support. Thus, reducing the most expensive costs corporations incur which is the cost of employees.

Lastly, with all the teleconferencing options today, there may be little to no reason an employee needs to come to the office. Anything that can be done in a closed-door meeting can be done via teleconferencing. If you do wish to see employees on a limited basis, then transform the desk areas into mobile desk units and eliminate unnecessary real estate costs. The pandemic has taught us that the “old school” way of managing employees and expecting them to be the first in the office in the morning and last to leave to have value is over. “Micro-management” is a thing of the past.

Get in tune with today’s new workforce, provide the tools they need to produce and start increasing company profits by trusting your employees are accomplishing their job and provide them the ability to remain somewhat flexible in their schedules and you will laugh all the way to the bank….

John Lee
Founder- HomeWerx, LLC