By Daniel Hunter

Organisations must put aside concerns about productivity and re-evaluate the need for a fully office-based workforce in order to realise dramatic cost savings.

So says teliqo’s Russell Lux, responding to a new survey that claims businesses in Britain could save over £34 billion per year by encouraging remote working but that only one in five business decision-makers believes their organisation could reduce its desk space.

The research puts the average cost of an office desk — including equipment such as desktop computers and phones — at £5,746. Lux, Commercial Director at teliqo, a provider of cloud-based telephony services, says that many organisations would discover that this is an unnecessary expense for at least some of their workforce — once they overcome their doubts and open their eyes to the productivity benefits of mobile working.

“A lot of senior management — especially the old-school types — probably don’t really understand the cost savings and other benefits that remote working can bring their organisations,” he said.

“They see the likes of Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer insisting that all employees come back into the office, and this reinforces their concerns that remote working is bad for productivity — the image of somebody sat at home in their pyjamas watching daytime TV rather than ironing out the kinks in that crucial presentation is hard to shift!

“But they have nothing to worry about. In fact, remote working enables people to be even more productive. Instead of losing dead time stuck in traffic jams or crammed in commuter trains on the way to and from the office, employees can eek out extra working hours that accommodate other commitments such as childcare.

“And that’s before you even factor in the cost savings to the organisation. As well as saving money on desk equipment as employees use their own home computers, business can make substantial savings on — for instance — their phone bills.

“A cloud-based telephony system that capitalises on the growing take-up of BYOD schemes by providing each employee with a single work number they can make and receive calls on from their personal smartphone, tablet, or laptop can enable them to work productively wherever suits them best and to remain fully contactable at all times, while saving the employer up to 40 per cent by providing voice and data services from the same source."

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