Perhaps Marissa Mayer was not expecting to make such huge waves in the business world when she banned Yahoo employees from home working, but the debate has become a global one, and now Vodafone has weighed in. It says that freeing up desk space and reducing overhead costs when workers aren’t around could save £34bn a year.
It came to its conclusion by surveying 500 ‘decision makers’ in businesses across the UK, and found that the average cost of a desk in an office is around £5,746 per year. Around 20% of companies said that they could downsize by about 46 desks if they encouraged more remote working.
Enterprise director at Vodafone UK, Joeroen Hoencamp, said: ‘A potential saving of up to £34bn is staggering and this research reveals businesses are underestimating the savings they can make through reducing the number desks they have.’
Mayer’s rationale for banning the practice at Google was to improve ‘communication and collaboration’ between colleagues, and a quarter of employers in Vodafone’s survey suggested that they were concerned people would abuse the system of there was more opportunity to work from home.
Seems the jury’s still out.