Don't Let Remote Work Create Hidden Costs or Busted Budgets

Don't Let Remote Work Create Hidden Costs or Busted Budgets

The shift to remote work for many businesses has generally gone well, with employees often being more productive and having more flexibility in their schedules. Meanwhile, more remote work means businesses can potentially save on areas ranging from rent to office supplies. However, remote work also has the potential to create hidden costs...until you get invoices that reveal you’ve gone over budget.

Even if you’re aware of some new remote work related costs, such as purchasing laptops for your employees to work from home, you want to be able to maintain the same level of spend visibility and have frictionless procurement protocols like you would within an office so you can stay on budget.

Some of these new and/or hidden cost areas can include:

  • Cell Phone Plans:With more staff working remotely, they may be using their work cell phones more than usual, while your in-office telecom system goes largely unused. As a result, your company may go over your allotted minutes or data for your corporate wireless plan, causing overage charges.

    Having visibility into phone and data usage in this new era can help you avoid unexpected costs. You can also make adjustments to your telecom plans to better fit your remote work usage patterns, thereby helping you avoid overage fees or reducing unnecessary services like international roaming if your employees aren’t traveling for work. GoProcure’s Mobile Management Program can help you cut wireless costs by around 20-40%.
  • Connectivity:With employees working from home, your IT budget might swell, such as by adding VPN technology and allowing employees to expense high-quality home internet plans so they have the speeds they need for activities like videoconferencing. While these costs are often necessary to help employees have the connectivity they need to do their jobs remotely and stay secure, you don’t want to be surprised by these costs.Make sure that IT connectivity costs still follow your defined procurement policies, such as by clarifying to employees what they can expense and who they should submit any requests to. That way, you can be aware of your costs before you start to incur them. Working with a procurement partner like GoProcure can also help you review your connectivity costs to see whether you can adjust your services to fit your new usage patterns.
  • Remote Work Software:Related to connectivity costs, you also want to gain visibility into remote work software that employees might purchase to do their jobs effectively, such as videoconferencing platforms and project management tools. Here too, these purchases may be valuable and necessary, but you want to avoid maverick purchases and instead have employees follow your procurement procedures so you maintain visibility into your costs.
  • Home Office Equipment:Another area that can be ripe for maverick spend is home office equipment. While you may want employees to purchase equipment like keyboards and external monitors to make their home office setups more conducive to productive work, you still want to make sure that your company is purchasing from compliant vendors and that your costs are under control.

    an e-procurement platform can enable your team to still easily find the items they need from approved vendors. They can then easily submit purchase requests automatically through the platform, so your finance/procurement teams can then have the visibility to quickly approve purchases before they go through and know where you stand in relation to your budget.

Gain Visibility Into Remote Work Costs

Being mindful of these areas that can lead to hidden or unusually high costs can help you put policies and technology in place to stay on budget and meet your procurement needs. With more visibility, you not only can get a sense of how you’re tracking against your budget, but you can also identify spend management efficiencies, such as seeing opportunities to order home office equipment in bulk for better rates, rather than having employees make one-off purchases over time.

To get a sense of how gaining visibility into previously unmanaged spend can help you cut costs, try our new cost savings calculator.

Want to learn more about how working with GoProcure can help you stay on budget while enabling your employees to work remotely? Request a free assessment with our product experts today.