TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--During COVID, one issue that has been weighing on business owners’ minds is the financial implications of a work-at-home staff. CPA, Rodney Davis of GreySuits Inc. offers his perspective in an interview.
Q: What has been some of the impact for businesses setting up remote working?
Rodney Davis: Many businesses already had to provide a new infrastructure necessary for their staff to work outside of the office. And there was a cost associated with that. They had to buy technology that enabled them to communicate more often and more effectively with the rest of the team. They had to invest in measures that allowed people to feel as if they're part of an organization. For many business owners, it was even a simple question like whether they kept their place of business.
Q: Are there financial benefits to having your company work remotely?
Rodney Davis: A lot of financial costs have been cut out, so there’s significant savings across the board, like travel and entertainment for clients or travel costs for employees who get travel allowances for traveling to and from the client premises. Those are probably the biggest areas of savings companies have had, but something as simple as office supplies can have an impact too. When you've got 200-300 employees in a workforce burning through office supplies, move everyone remote and suddenly there's a lot less printing.
Q: How do you know you're getting the most productivity from your employees?
Rodney Davis: The subject of ‘out of sight out of mind’ is a very difficult issue for some employers to grapple with. Employers who are focused on the output they’re expecting from their resources and staff have a much easier time with this arrangement. But you first need to be able to measure productivity in your business. You should already know what you expect from your employees at various levels, on various assignments to deliver within the specified timelines.
Q: What are the financial implications of hiring remotely?
Rodney Davis: You have to create a home environment for your employees where they can still be productive, and there is a cost to that. I think we're going to see situations where employees expect you to compensate them for the tools necessary to work from home and put them in a position where they don’t have to incur the costs of working from home. I think employment agreements are going to start to reflect that.
Q: How does the impact on company culture affect profitability?
Rodney Davis: I think one of the most difficult challenges companies have been faced with during COVID has been how to maintain that sense of collegiality and empathy among your work staff. That becomes very difficult after a period of time, because no matter how much we want to deny it, knowing someone gives you a predisposition to go above and beyond for them. That work relationship can change the way that people deliver services and the urgency with which they deliver those services. So there is a value to that collegiality.
Q: Our city has opened up. Can we go back to working from the office?
Rodney Davis: In most cases working from home is here to stay. We've been doing remote working long enough that it's become a habit for many people and it might be very difficult to move away from it. So find a way to adapt.
Rodney Davis, CA, CPA is a partner and practice leader at GreySuits Advisors Inc. He has been working with private and public organizations since 1990 in change management.
Video clip of interview available (full rights granted for any news media platform): https://youtu.be/qXIzoibSOJo
Link to Rodney Davis photo and assets: shorturl.at/xPQ79