For workplaces, shifting to either full-time remote work, or a modified hybrid version of it, leads to reconsiderations of many aspects, including operational costs. From toilet paper in restrooms to lights throughout the office, approaches to day-to-day appliances change when workplaces alter their work model. ProcureAmerica has witnessed the impact on usage firsthand in areas like Waste & Recycling, Print Management, Utilities, Telecommunications and other related services.
PRINT MANAGEMENT AND WASTE & RECYCLING
There has been a 67% decrease1 in waste levels for businesses, and it seems to be a trend that will not be declining any time soon. These decreases are attributed to the large reduction in staff generating waste affecting all waste streams: solid, recycling, organics and document destruction.
Because remote and hybrid workplaces are the norm now, companies are encouraged to revisit their agreements regarding print management, waste & recycling, telecommunications, utilities, technology, treasury and more. Without doing so, they may end up overpaying or underpaying for certain services. In addition, firms providing these services may make unnecessary visits because agreements were not updated.
With remote and hybrid workplaces now being considered the norm, organizations (public and private sector) should revisit their print management, waste & recycling, telecommunications, utilities, technology, bank processing fees agreements and more. Without doing so, these organizations are being overserviced resulting in them overpaying. In addition, firms providing these services may make unnecessary service and support visits because agreements were not updated, again resulting in wasteful spending.
For instance, if an employer shifted to a fully remote or hybrid format but waste and recycling services are still scheduled for pick up five days a week, such frequency is no longer necessary and should be reduced since less staff is in the office. The same opportunity applies to print management agreements. Most print contracts are on a per print or copy basis therefore companies should be re-evaluating and adjusting existing vendor contracts as more employees are working from home and in-office print use has decreased significantly.
Experts assessed the influence of global remote work on printer use, and found printing shrunk by 40% in the first half of 2020 and projected just 80% of printing activities will return to pre-pandemic levels by this year. It’s been predicted that printer unit sales are unlikely to recover from impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.2 Compounding the point; for the past decade many organizations have been trying to migrate to the “paperless office” and now with the “Cloud”, Zoom, Teams (i.e., “Share my Screen” is now part of our daily nomenclature) we can use technology to reduce print volume. Add the two together (less staff in the office and technological solutions) and you have a revolutionary situation that requires re-engineering of our office print strategies.
Telecommunications is another area that has been greatly affected by the insurgence of remote work. The first issue that remote employees typically run into is internet connectivity. When compared to the speedy in-office broadband connections, remote employees often experience more sluggish home internet speeds. With an abundance of hybrid and full-time remote workers using up the internet provider’s bandwidth, average speeds tend to dip.
For organizations that provide mobile equipment (phones, tablets, hotspots, etc.), the mobile plan each device is on now, in many cases the wrong plan for the “new normal”. As such, each device needs to be monitored and assigned a more appropriate/cost effective plan that mirrors the post pandemic usage profile of each user.
Tech experts predicted four lasting effects of growing remote workforces: improved broadband capacity upgrades, greater capacity demands in residential areas, more focus on policy control for networks that deliver high-stakes applications and security for residential network infrastructure.3
In addition to these lasting effects, remote workers have also seen a difference in device usage. It has also been predicted that through 2024, remote workers will use at least four different device types for remote working, an increase from three devices in 2019.4 This approach means companies must assess their current internet and device plans and ensure a plan that covers all devices properly.
It’s been said that business is all about adapting to trends and demands. ProcureAmerica utilizes business intelligence to help businesses adapt and navigate these changes. Their leading experts provide complete cost reduction analysis for businesses in many areas, such as Print Management, Waste & Recycling and Telecommunications without impacting staff time and improving vendor relations.
Monitoring how events of the last two years have reconstructed work culture and how they will continue to do so will dictate how workplaces will evolve. As remote work stays top of mind in the foreseeable future, many opportunities will arise to study its effects on your organizations’ operations. Adaptability can provide significant opportunity, but requires strategic thinking and planning to come out the other side ahead of the game.
ProcureAmerica is the nation’s leading business intelligence company supporting government, higher education, healthcare and private industry. Their services support and deliver operational efficiency, fiscal responsibility, expense transparency and net cost reduction. The firm has significant industry expertise in six specific expense categories: Utilities, Waste & Recycling, Telecommunications, Print Management, Technology Optimization, and Treasury.