Rent and people are the biggest costs facing most small businesses, so savings here are likely to have the biggest impact on your profitability.
At Ozlop we use remote working to reduce property costs while boosting our team’s productivity, let me tell you how remote working helps us and can benefit your business too.
At Ozlop we don’t work in a central office. To keep our overheads down so we can offer competitive rates, we decided at the outset that rent was a burden we could live without. Instead our team all work remotely.
Of course, this approach requires strong trust between me and my team – I need to know that they are being productive, and they need to know that I am on top of my managerial duties.
To keep everyone up to speed we have daily morning calls which, in my experience, are much more productive than a physical meeting in the office – when I was in a corporate business, making the right coffee for attendees alone could take-up 20 minutes at the start of a meeting!
There are other benefits too, not least for attracting the right recruits.
Asking people to come into an office to work means we are restricted by geography on who we hire. But, by allowing people to work from home we instantly have access to a much wider pool of talent so can find the best people for the job, wherever in the UK they are.
It is an attractive proposition for the potential recruits too. Knowing that Ozlop cares that its employees have a good work/life balance means we are a more attractive place to work than rivals. Parents, for instance, who work flexibly so they can do the school run, go to doctors’ appointments and school events are more likely to join us.
And it’s great for retention: happy staff are less likely to leave so we don’t have to spend time and money replacing them.
We have also found that employees are financially better off because they don’t have to spend time and money on a commute. We have even been able to hire people who would normally be too expensive for us as they are prepared to take a drop in salary to get out of the daily grind and enjoy the flexibility of working from home.
And what about productivity?
Our experience at Ozlop chimes with the research which found evidence that productivity actually improves for remote workers.
We are not alone – a growing number of businesses are choosing to have no central office.
If you are thinking about whether to use remote working at your business, or maybe the prospect of a large property bill fills you with the shivers, I can certainly say it works well for us and I strongly recommend you consider its benefits for your business too.
David Vine – small business specialist and Managing Director at Ozlop.