How You Are Saving Money by Staying Home

While the Coronavirus pandemic has caused financial concerns around the world, many businesses and families are finding that the stay-home orders are saving money. How have your finances been impacted by the recent economic changes?

Millions of people are out of work. Some businesses are closed, while others are busier than ever. While everyone is adjusting to the “new normal,” it is helpful to look at the ways this pandemic might be beneficial for your business or personal finances. Saving money right now can help with immediate cash flow, and at the same time set you up for better financial success in the future.

Here are a few ways that small businesses, large businesses, and individuals are saving money because of COVID-19:

Working from Home

State mandates and social distancing guidelines resulted in many businesses sending employees to work from home. Of course, only certain industries could have employees at home, but companies of all sizes quickly made the change to accommodate work-from-home employees. For example, essential services such as grocery stores, hospital workers, and utility providers have maintained in-person employment – but changes have been made to protect employees each day.

Working from home has been a huge success for businesses of all sizes. Employees feel good knowing they are not being exposed to illness in the office. If employees don’t need to meet with customers or coworkers in person, then working from home can be an effective solution to keep the company running.

We don’t have exact numbers, but it is estimated that millions of professionals made the shift to work remotely within the past two months. This change can save employees quite a bit of money over time:

  • Commute: Cutting out the commute reduces expenses on public transportation, personal vehicles, gas, and more. Not only are employees saving money, but they are also saving the time that would have been spent commuting each morning and evening. Eliminating the commute time frees up more hours in the day to focus on work projects or family time. Some families find that if one partner is working from home, then the family can get by with one car (instead of two). Not only does this change reduce the cost of the monthly car payment, but you also save money on insurance, maintenance, taxes, and more.
  • Food: Spending time in an office each day often increases food and coffee purchases. How many times a week do you usually leave the office to grab lunch or stop at Starbucks on your way to work? $5 here and $10 there can really add up over the time, resulting in hundreds of dollars a month in spending on food and drink. On the other hand, employees often find that their eating out budget shrinks when working from home because of the convenience of grabbing food from the kitchen.
  • Clothing: The cost of professional clothing can add up, especially in fashion-focused industries. Working from home doesn’t mean that fashion is no longer a concern, especially when meetings are happening over video conferencing. But, it is common for remote workers to spend more time in yoga pants and comfy clothes. Working from home reduces the amount you need to spend on clothing purchases, plus you are saving money on dry cleaning and laundry services.
  • Childcare: Depending on the work from home schedule, some employees have been able to reduce or eliminate childcare costs. For example, if the work from home hours are more flexible compared to the in-office schedule, then a remote worker can adjust their work times around a child’s nap schedule or bedtime. Additionally, spouses or partners have found ways to tag-team child care while the other spouse is working.

According to FlexJobs, it’s estimated that remote workers can save as much as $4,000 per year. Even though remote workers are saving money on commuting, food, clothing, and more – there might be additional costs incurred. For example, some employees are now spending more on home internet services. Families who previously didn’t have internet at home had to have the connection installed to accommodate a work-at-home environment. Others had to increase the internet service plan to ensure fast enough speeds to accommodate the workload.

Office equipment is another cost incurred by working at home, such as laptops, cell phones, and more. Many employers have been stepping up to provide the right equipment, as well as reimbursements for internet fees and other job-related expenses.

Businesses Saving Money

There’s no doubt that employees have benefitted by saving money while working at home. These financial savings essentially give employees a pay raise since their spending is lower. At the same time, employees often report higher work satisfaction and improved work-life balance when they have the option to work from home.

But the financial benefits aren’t reserved only for employees. Businesses are also saving money because of the changes related to Coronavirus. Here are some of the ways your business might be benefitting financially:

  • Reduced Utilities: If employees aren’t in the office, then it means that utility costs will go down. These reduced utility expenses can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the size of your building and the number of employees that were previously working in the office.
  • Office Space: Even though COVID-19 restrictions are starting to lift in many states, some companies are considering the option to continue a work-from-home program. Companies have found that business continued as usual, with some instances of increased productivity by having employees at home. As a result, money can be saved by continuing to have employees work remotely. This shift means that you might have the option of saving money by relocating or reducing the size of the office since employees no longer need to have desk space each day.
  • Furniture: A smaller office means that costs will go down since you no longer need to fill the space with office furniture. Some employers have provided workers with office equipment at home, but the overall costs are much lower compared to everything required for an in-office staff.
  • Paperwork: A digital work environment has pushed many companies to reduce paperwork, which is a cost-saving measure when you consider how much printing costs add up over time. Because people aren’t working face-to-face in the office, it’s more efficient to maintain digital files that can be shared through the cloud or email. Reducing or eliminating the need for printing can save a lot of money on ink, paper, and machine maintenance.
  • Travel Costs: The travel industry has been impacted in a big way due to travel restrictions and canceled trips. Not only are individuals changing their vacation plans, but many companies are re-thinking business trips as well. As companies shift to doing business virtually, the need for business travel is reduced… which can save thousands of dollars throughout the year.
  • Insurance: How much does your company spend on insurance costs each year? Changing the way you do business means that you might be able to start saving money by switching insurance coverage as well. You can’t cut this expense, but you can find ways to reduce spending. For example, car insurance can be reduced if there is a reduced need for a company vehicle. Or, building and liability insurance costs might be reduced with a smaller office and fewer employees on site.
  • Freelancing Services: The shift to remote working means that many companies have re-assessed their workforce. Instead of bringing on full-time staff, some businesses are choosing to hire freelancers as an alternative. Outsourcing some of the daily work means that you can tap into the skills that are needed without carrying the financial burden of another full-time employee. Hiring a freelancer can save money on overhead costs such as employment taxes, benefits, and more.

As a business owner, not only do you need to look at the ways you are saving money, but it is also important to consider how workflow and productivity are impacted as well. During these unprecedented times, many companies have had to be flexible in implementing new systems that keep the business running under different circumstances.

Strategic Planning to Improve Your Finances

Have you noticed that the COVID-19 pandemic has opened up options to save money through a work-from-home staff? As you evaluate the way the business has been managed in recent months, it could be a good indication to help you see ways to save money in the future. Look at the possibilities and you will see that there are new ways to save money and boost the success of your business at the same time.

If you are looking for support with ongoing business finances, then our team is here to assist with accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, tax strategy, and more. We specialize in small business services and offer personalized solutions to help your business stay strong through the current economic challenges. You are invited to reach out to our team at Easier Accounting to learn more about the available services: (888) 620-0770.

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