Over 50% of Finance Leaders Save an Hour or More Per Day by Working From Home
A recent survey CFO.University conducted with nearly 200 global finance leaders indicated 58% estimated time savings of one hour or more each day by working from home. Another 20% claimed savings between 31-60 minutes. The vast majority of the remaining 22% were back in the office full time.
In the United States alone, using an average hourly rate published by the Bureau of Labor Statastics1, the total dollar value of savings tops $26 billion.
It’s no wonder there is relatively minor pushback from financial professionals when delays in restoring in office hours are announced.
In addition to spending more time with their families and on hobbies, finance professionals are investing their ‘new found’ time in their careers. We prepared our report on Professional Development for Accounting and Finance Leaders in a Post Covid-19 World to help leaders and learners navigate the best development path for their companies and their careers in a post pandemic world.
Here is some feedback we received from our global finance colleagues on the topic.
James Griffin, CPA and Senior Accounting Systems Analyst at Petco, had a lot to contribute on the topic. He enjoys working from home opining that “It all is an experiment in progress. Companies always fought WFH but employees have shined and thrived.” He treads cautiously about his own WFH experiencing, “I know myself well enough to know I love routines. Once we return to office it will take me a bit to figure out what will work best for me. Do I keep the same wake up schedule for both WFH and back in office? [In]WFH I decided to eat later so I can barrel through the day. In office I cherish my lunch breaks. It will be odd.”
James comments on the hybrid model include, “The hybrid model is definitely the future. I just think it will provide challenges to both the employer and employee as it is worked out. Same as when everyone started WFH. I also think companies are stressing about the size of office space needed with long term leases…what is a company supposed to do with a 30-year lease for office space being designed for thousands but has a few dozen occupants?... As well as equipment contracts where the equipment hasn’t even been turned on for 3 years.” The future is exciting, and I love the ride.
Muhammad Bilal Rashid, CGMA, and Financial Controller at Tibah Airports Operation Co. LTD, expressed concerns that the short-term gains in our WFH environment” could end up with more problems for the employee and contribute to lesser results”
We agree with this possibility. The challenge finance leaders face is how to address the shortcomings of working from home with the overwhelming benefits employees indicate they are experiencing from the flexibility and time savings working from home gives them. Corporate culture and attitudes will play huge roles in how companies take advantage of this opportunity. Our bias today is many business models can adapt to a Live Anywhere, Work Everywhere perspective that will benefit the highest caliber professionals and the most flexible employers.
Benoy Antony, Assistant Manager, Shared Services and System Implementation at Heat and Control Inc. noted, “Lack of ease of access to resources - team members, high speed internet connection, ergonomic seats, etc., distraction from family members involved in household chores, almost offsets the time spent on commute. I am referring to 2.5 hours of commute every day. The routine breaks. So, not much of a time advantage.”
Since the survey was completed we found and interesting report from CFOshare, a finance and accounting outsourcing firm in the Denver area. They did a deep dive on their own work from home experience that hits many of the items global finance and accounting leaders are struggling to analyze when comparing the in office, hybrid and WFH models.
They summarize their results in the chart below.
We aren’t certain how the ‘in-person’ benefits/costs vs the ‘WFH’ benefits/costs will fall out over time. What we do know is the ability of finance leaders to articulate the rationale behind their decisions regarding the ‘in office’ and ‘WFH’ rules they implement will make or break a large number of careers. There is simply too much at stake to make this decision in a vacuum and without a strong feedback loop.
When the pandemic struck, we started our CFO Crisis Resource Center. It’s full of great ideas on managing a work from home team, even if you no longer find yourself in crisis. Here is a link for your convenience: CFO Crisis Resource Center.
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