With rental and ancillary costs rapidly increasing, organizations must employ innovative cost-saving ideas. These strategies are crucial for the success and sustainability of modern organizations for reducing business expenses and optimizing resources.
Restructuring workplaces for greater productivity and cost-effectiveness is not an easy feat. But, with the right solutions, such as the implementation of sustainability initiatives and latest technology, we can build future-proof offices at a lower cost.
In this article, we will explore a range of innovative ideas that not only help decrease costs but also align with the growing demand for sustainability and flexibility in the workplace. By applying these changes, businesses can save money, attract and retain top talent while contributing to a greener and more efficient future.
Green is the new black: make your office more sustainable
Sustainability is one of the most important values held by Millennials and Gen Z. Both generations combined are becoming the largest demographic group in the workplace and often expect their companies to align with their personal values. Therefore, not only is sustainability key for bettering our planet. It is also a high expectation to a large part of the workforce as they might make career decisions based on which businesses reflect these initiatives or not.
Rethink your business travel habits
Many means of transportation are major pollutants, such as cars and planes. Unfortunately for many of us, we use these modes of transport everyday. So, imagine how much pollution is created by daily commuting.
Instead, rethink how you get to work. Opt for more sustainable means of transportation, such as trains, walking, or bicycling. Or, if a car is your only option, find those around you to carpool to work.
Additionally, business travel from country to country requires flying in a plane which has major consequences for the environment. Businesses can choose to reduce cross-border travel or find alternative routes using trains.
Rethinking transportation also helps with cost-savings as carpooling or taking the train means less spent on gas, and walking or bicycling are completely free. If your business subsidies travel, such as paying for gas, this will also reduce costs.
Switch to low-energy consumption solutions
Office buildings tend to use a lot of energy. Lights have to be on all day, and technology has to be charged or plugged in to function. Simply keeping an office building running requires significant energy consumption. This can also be quite expensive.
Therefore, businesses can choose to switch to low-energy consumption solutions, such as solar panels, to not only decrease cost but also to conserve energy. While the initial set-up cost might be higher, the overall amount saved will be even greater.
One of the key principles of sustainability is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. In the workplace context, this phrase applies mainly to any equipment or resources being used. For instance, make recycling accessible to all employees by placing more recycling bins around the office.
But the 3Rs also relate to the use of workplace technology, which cannot be easily thrown away. So instead of buying more equipment for the office, implement a BYOD policy that reduces the amount of consumption and allows team members to reuse the digital tools they already own. Or, in order to maintain employee-centricity, encourage them to have only one laptop, for example. This doesn’t mean workers have to pay for it by themselves. Rather, the company pays for it 100% or provides a stipend.
Printing is outdated, become a paperless office
In the nature of reducing, think about becoming a paperless office! We now have the ability to share documents instantly online through cloud-based platforms. Instead of having to ask colleagues for documents, the team is already able to access and update them!
With the implementation of electronic signatures, documents no longer need to be physically printed out to be signed. They can be signed digitally, which is not only more sustainable but also more efficient.
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AI and automation keep improving: use these technologies to reduce business expenses
Use new technologies to optimize time and boost efficiency
As many know, time is money. The longer spent on a task, the more human resources are being used. Employees are being paid for their time, so the more time they dedicate to a task, the more it costs. Therefore implementing AI in the workplace is an efficient way to optimize time and boost efficiency. While it cannot create projects from start to finish and does not have critical thinking or problem-solving skills, these tools are a great starting point for outlines, brainstorms, and help with repetitive tasks.
Reduce human mistakes by letting robots do the job and lose less money
While we all make mistakes, they cost the company money. When an error is made, it has to be fixed. This means more time spent on a specific task and, possibly, another team member’s time is taken away from their own responsibilities. Or physical resources need to be utilized in order to solve the problem. Thus, implementing AI helps reduce these mistakes by taking human error out of the equation.
Automate your cybersecurity system to reduce the risks of being hacked
A cyberattack can cost your business as valuable data might be taken or systems are compromised, meaning work has to be halted. However, by using AI to automate your cybersecurity system, there are fewer risks of an attack because technology can work around the clock while humans cannot.
The demand for hybrid work is at its highest: adopt the most requested work model and save costs
A lower occupancy rate means an opportunity to downsize your office
By switching to a hybrid work model, fewer employees will be in the office each day of the week, likely dropping occupancy rates. This means that companies will not need as much physical space as not every person will be in the office daily. With high rent costs in many cities, downsizing the office space can save businesses a lot on real-estate costs.
However, before choosing to reduce the size of your workplace, tracking occupancy rates is a must to understand who is coming into the office when. Sensors or hot desking apps can help you collect this data. This ensures that enough space is available for those coming in.
Fewer people on-site results in lower energy bills
Due to the nature of flexible work models, there are fewer people in the office daily. But this also means that less electricity is used as fewer laptops and phones are charged and less light is required. Similarly, there is less consumption of other resources needed for routine maintenance. Many European countries are facing an energy crisis, skyrocketing the prices of things like electricity. So, being able to conserve in this way can really reduce costs.
Flexible work makes it easier to work with freelancers
Freelancers are easier to work with when you have a flexible model because they can be sourced from anywhere in the world. Like this, you are getting the best talent you can find without having to employ a permanent employee.
Hiring a freelancer for a specific project or set of tasks is much cheaper than hiring a new team member full-time to do the work. This person would require a salary, advantages, and certain resources like technology and office space.
This plays into the previous cost-saving benefits mentioned above, as having fewer full-time staff also means being able to downsize.
Hybrid work boosts work-life balance and productivity
Observation of hybrid work settings has proven it has a number of benefits, many of which are related to employee experience and productivity. A flexible work setting boosts productivity by allowing employees to work from wherever they are the most comfortable and suits the task at hand best. Additionally, it allows for both at-home work when focus time is needed and in-office time when a task requires collaboration.
Because individuals save time from having to commute daily, they can also focus on other aspects of their lives, such as family and well-being. In turn, they have better work-life balance and are therefor, more engaged and generally more satisfied with their roles. This prevents absenteeism and burnout.
As businesses strive to stay competitive while workplace expenditures are rising, embracing innovative cost-saving ideas is essential. Reducing business expenses can come in multiple forms. Modern cost-efficient strategies include adopting sustainable practices,implementing AI and automation, and embracing hybrid work.
Luckily, many of these strategies, such as becoming more sustainable and switching to flexible work arrangements, align with the values of our current workforce. So, if organizations want to be future-proof, these solutions should already be in the pipeline. These methods not only lower your bills but also contribute to a greener and more productive future, fostering employee satisfaction and attracting top talent.
If your business is looking to save costs and embrace the trends of the future of work, the deskbird app is the perfect solution. Learn more by starting a free trial today!
Annabel is a content specialist at deskbird, where she helps companies navigate the new hybrid world and build workplaces that people love.