Many corporates are now sitting with large office space areas which are essentially empty, and most employees are working from home. We know the technology certainly enables it and its just a question of adapting management styles and embracing the right technology.
CFO's are probably wondering if they could scale down the office space by say 75% (depending on the nature of the business) that is a lot of savings on rental, electricity, cleaning, etc... And there are pros (and some cons for employees too).
Some that come to mind are:Pros for Corporates:
* Saving costs on rental and related expenses
* Work from home could attract many skilled workers including from outside the country even
* Management styles would adapt to outputs vs sitting in the office or be seen to be working late
* No more excuses about the trains being late or caught in traffic from employees
* Office safety is for fewer employees inc less chance of transmission of viruses across all employeesCons for Corporates:
* Management styles have to change and some "legacy" managers may not be able to adapt
* Although already needed some VC, VoIP and VPN technology needs to be acquired - savings gained in space could go towards this
* Could be security concerns - may require work computers to be issued for use at home, so they can be locked down
* Remote computer support (and software patching) has to be managed especially for hardware related issues which could mean maintenance contractsPros for Employees:
* More flexible hours as they should be output driven
* Hours, cost and health benefits of not travelling to work - both points equal happier employees
* Can claim income tax rebates on office space and expenses at home
* Should be able to offset some of their existing home Internet costs from income tax
* No loss of travel allowances if work still requires travel from home to clientsCons for Employee:
* Adjusting to balancing family and work time
* Maintaining space for work, and Internet access
* In South Africa having to ensure there is electricity to work through load shedding
* Self-discipline to be remotely managed and manage own outputs
* For the benefits gained there could be some sacrifices required from employees
There is no single answer that will suite all businesses as their needs are different but I'd be very surprised if corporates don't debate this seriously. Even if it's not 100% of staff working from home or remotely, a large portion could well still make sense and it insulates businesses against disasters of various sorts by distributing the work presence.