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We designed this remote vs. on-location workers calculator to help human resource managers determine how their company's business budget will be affected when employees are allowed to work remotely vs. on-site.

Since the pandemic of 2019, remote work has become more widespread as workers and employers have found good reasons to incorporate remote work into their continued work culture. Some employees have even accepted salary cuts in order to be allowed to work remotely. This remote vs. on-location workers calculator is a necessary tool for employers interested in their employees' comfort and happiness as well as their bottom line.

Keep reading to learn:

  • What remote work is;
  • What is on-site work;
  • The pros and cons of remote work;
  • Steps a company may take in order to move to remote work; and
  • How to use our remote vs. on-location workers calculator.

Are you interested in other human resource tools? You should visit our HR software ROI calculator to calculate how financially beneficial that new software package is for your company. Additionally, the Bradford factor calculator is ideal if you wish to learn to what extent your employees' regular absences affect your company.

What is remote work?

Remote work refers to the developing culture where employees work from a location other than the company's main office. This is often accompanied by a flexible work schedule.

What is on-site work?

The term on-site work refers to the culture of employees working from a physical location controlled by the employer. On-site work usually entails travel, a dress code, and a set work time.

What are the pros and cons of remote work to a company?

While remote work has recently become more prevalent, some companies are still on the fence about offering remote work to their employees. Even though this is understandable for service industries where employees need to interact directly with customers, such as restaurants, supermarkets, or hospitals, many companies can offer remote work but do not. Much of this reluctance has to do with questions about managing human resources in such a situation and a lack of knowledge about how this benefits the employer.

In the following sections, we examine the pros and cons of remote work for a company.

Advantages of remote work

Some reasons your company may consider remote work are:

  • According to Professor Nicholas Bloom of Standford University, Mercer and information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, remote work increases productivity;

  • Employees who work remotely do not need to commute, which allows them more time to rest and, in turn, reduces their stress levels;

  • Remote workers are more likely to remain with a company for a longer period than on-site ones;

  • Remote workers are happier, less distracted, and therefore tend to be more loyal to their employers;

  • Access to a more diverse and talented workforce than is available in the immediate vicinity;

  • Lower overhead cost;

  • Increased engagement among employees;

  • Free up office space; and

  • Reduce absenteeism: The fact that remote work usually allows employees to work flexible hours also means that they can generally attend to their welfare and still be at work on that day for the required number of hours.

Are you looking to hire new staff? Our hire an expert vs. train a fresher calculator is just the tool you need to find the best, most cost-effective option for your company.

Disadvantages of having employees work remotely

Here are some disadvantages of allowing employees to work remotely:

  • Depending on the type of work the company offers, allowing employees to work remotely may not be cost-effective.

  • Working conditions do not aid productivity: There is a possibility that an employee may have to deal with many distractions in their home environment if allowed to work remotely. This may, in turn, impact the quality and quantity of the work produced.

  • Delayed response time: When work is time-sensitive, employees need to give feedback promptly. The very nature of remote work (flexible work hours and off-site location) may make it difficult to call an employee's attention to time-sensitive communications.

  • Increased cost: For those companies that choose to furnish home offices or help with internet expenses for their employees, remote work may cause the company added expenses.

  • Security issues: Accessing the company's website over the internet may cause vulnerabilities to the company's network. This is especially so when employees use their computers to access websites that expose them to viruses and malware.

Steps a company may take to promote a move to a remote work environment

All companies should be interested in offering remote work to their employees since employees are happier when allowed flexible schedules and remote work. Studies have shown that happy employees are more productive, which benefits their employers.

Here are some steps companies may use to ensure standards are maintained when employees work remotely:

  • A conditional offer — Offer employees the opportunity to work remotely on the condition that neither the quality nor timely delivery of their work suffers. Since more employees wish to work remotely, they are likely to work to their employer's satisfaction if this would make it possible for them to work remotely.

  • Set up a reporting system that ensures that employees give regular feedback on their progress — maybe twice or thrice weekly.

  • Onboard new employees to ensure they are aware of your expectations from the moment they join your organization.

  • Do what is necessary to ensure you promote the professional growth of your employees. Learn what interests your employees and ensure you do all you can to meet their needs for professional development. This promotes employee retention and loyalty.

  • Insist that employees meet specific physical standards to work remotely. This may include setting up a home office with the required equipment.

  • Communicate clearly — Communication is one of the most important factors in remote work if you do not wish employees to waste time on the wrong things. In remote work, employees typically develop independence that far outweighs what happens in the office, where supervisors are usually within easy reach. Clear information on your company's goals and objectives and the end result of all projects will help employees complete their tasks in a manner that is more in keeping with what is expected of them.

  • Educate employees on cyber security.

How to use our remote vs. on location workers calculator

Our calculator has two sections: a section for remote work and one for onsite work.

Follow the steps below to use our remote vs. on-location calculator:

  1. Choose the duration — the years for which the calculation is being made.
  • The first section is for remote work.
  1. Enter the monthly allowance for each item your company is paying. The amount is per employee. If any of the items do not apply, enter $0.

  2. Enter the number of remote employees to calculate the remote cost per employee.

  • The second section refers to on-location costs.
  1. Enter the on location costs incurred by your company per month. Again enter $0 if you are not paying for an item.

  2. Enter the number of employees to which this cost applies. This allows our calculator to calculate the cost per employee.

  3. You should now be able to see the total cost per employee per year and duration for both remote and onsite workers.

  4. Additionally, the table at the bottom displays the total costs for remote and on-site workers side by side to make comparison easy. The last column in the table shows the difference in the remote and onsite costs for easier comprehension.

For added options, click advanced mode at the bottom of the calculator.

Adena Benn
Period of comparison
Remote work allowances per employee
One-time allowances
Recurring expenses
Number of employees
On-location work costs
Total one-time expenses
Office space
Office lease
Recurring expenses
Number of employees
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