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Is Working From Home Solely A Cost Savings Benefit To Companies?

Given that many of us have been working from home for the last year due to the pandemic, there are many advantages. Those advantages include zero commute time and cost, less time wasted in meetings, more sleep, and more flexibility to get work done. The disadavantages are numerous, also, including social isolation, caring for kids, educating kids, lousy ergonomics, and a huge disconnect from informal work communication and information sharing.

Many companies are seeing the working from home situation as an opportunity to reduce their commercial real estate foot print and reduce costs. Is this a short term advantage that will create long term disadvantages?

Remember when companies thought that saving money by off-shoring production was a great idea to reduce costs and boost short term profits. We ended up transferring manufacturing capacity and development of robotics and technology for production to other countries. We lost a competitive advantage in manufacturing. That was...and still is...a steep price to pay for temporarily bumping short term profits.

When your supplier rules your supply chain, that's a lousy strategy and an unacceptable business risk.

In the race to lower costs, the lowest cost is zero. At that point, you don't have a business.

Companies need to be very careful to balance their goals of reducing costs through work with home plans with the risks of loss of key talent, loss of culture, loss of productivity, and loss of key customer relationships.

Lowest cost is a short term strategy with long term consequences.

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