Employers could save billions by offering mobile working to help cut overheads, as well as improve employee wellbeing.
It is believed that savings of up £34 billion could be enjoyed by companies that free up desk space, but managers vastly underestimate the potential cost benefits, research by Vodafone has shown.
In partnership with YouGov, the mobile phone giant surveyed 500 key decision makers and found that despite the average desk costing companies thousands of pounds each year, more than one in three managers have not considered cost-cutting solutions such as home working, hot desks or serviced offices.
For example, employers who were surveyed said that introducing flexible working could lead to an average of 46 desks in each office no longer being needed. This in turn could generate billions in savings if only managers were to realise the financial benefits.
From Vodafone’s point of view, working from home is a smart move and cost-effective.
However, Jeroen Hoencamp, enterprise director at Vodafone UK, believes that British firms are unsure of how to go about offering mobile working.
“We need to get Britain working smarter and thinking about different ways of working. A potential saving of up to £34 billion is staggering and this research reveals businesses are underestimating the savings they can make through reducing the number of desks they have,” he said.
The survey also revealed the majority of businesses (77 per cent) said they measure success by results than time spent in the office but only one in five (20 per cent) thought they could reduce desk space through offering alternative work solutions.
More startling however, is that more than a third (37 per cent) have never even considered flexible working as a way of cutting costs.
The research reveals that working from home is the most common form of flexible working businesses allow, with 42 per cent of companies taking part in the survey offering this.
Despite many business leaders (63 per cent) agreeing that employees don’t need to work the traditional nine to five and that flexible working leads to a happier workforce (62 per cent), nearly a quarter (22 per cent) still do not have any flexible working policies in place.