21st September 2020

Hiring companies likely to opt for more remote working candidates to save £££s


Recruitment agencies and their clients cannot avoid the equal implications (virtual rather than in-person interviews; loss of impromptu water cooler chats) and cost-benefits (lower office and commute costs; plus higher productivity) of remote working. For most candidates, remote working may become a bargaining chip for a host of reasons, such as the strain on available childcare since the national and subsequent localised lockdowns. Others might find the health benefits of working from home too valuable to give up. Then there are contractor candidates that want the freedom to choose both remote and team-based work. Are agencies and hiring companies more willing to promote remote working if it means securing the right applicant?

The Financial Times has already reported that people are moving further away from cities and their places of work to get more green space, with many not telling their bosses of their plans since they anticipate remote working is here to stay. The cost-savings and life balance benefits of remote working are proving too good to ignore for all parties. But are recruitment agencies ready to accept the stats put before them?

A recent survey has reported that social restrictions put in place during the UK’s lockdown measures have triggered the average person working in Britain to save £495 per month (an increase of £273 compared to their monthly savings pre-pandemic), which has only encouraged the acceptance of remote working.

Commuter & Hiring company savings

The one area that could see protracted savings is with the increased number of people working remotely, which has seen the average adult manage to save £92 per month on commuting costs. If a commute involved driving several times each week, and that commute was on average between 45 minutes to an hour each way, the petrol or diesel costs would far outweigh £92 per month. When it comes to train fare, for example, a monthly standard season ticket between Haslemere in Surrey to London terminals/London Travelcard for Zones 1-6 would cost £538.

Hiring companies will have also saved. Based on conservative assumptions, Global Workplace Analytics, a think tank on the future of work, estimates in a report that a typical employer can save an average of £8,500 or the US dollar equivalent per half-time remote worker per year.

The primary savings are also the result of increased productivity, lower real estate costs, reduced absenteeism and turnover, and better disaster preparedness.

Over the past several years, according to the report, the primary driver of work-at-home programmes has been the attraction and retention of talent, but during the last recession, it was largely about saving money.

Kate Lister, President of Global Workforce Analytics, notes in the findings that employees can save between £1,950 and £3,100 a year (working remotely half the time) and even more if they can move to a less expensive area and work remotely full time. These costs can also be easily realised for the freelancer or remote contractor.

“Organizational leaders, desperate to shed costs, found that they could do more with less real estate. Occupancy studies have shown just how inefficient office space has been used. Employees around the globe are not at their desk 50% to 60% of the time. That’s a huge waste of money,” said the report.

ETZ is always keen to bring to light new ways to save on avoidable costs for existing and emerging recruitment agencies. To learn how we might be able to help your agency save up to 85% in back-office support, video call us or book a demo today.

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