Hold the pink slips! Hidden savings of a virtual workforce.

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All companies experience ups and downs. Most business owners know all too well the anxiety of not knowing if their business will survive, or worse, if they’ll have to let go of their staff—both being unsavory for different reasons. But the way we do business is changing. The costs associated with nearly everything are morphing as quickly as technology and for business owners skating on thin financial ice, a virtual workforce can be good news.

One of technology’s greatest triumphs in the past five or 10 years has been granting workers the ability (and agility) to work on the go, in other locations and at home. Remote, or virtual, workers are popping up everywhere and it’s not just because employees don’t want to commute anymore. A virtual workforce can actually save businesses great and small a lot of money—and there’s data to prove it. So, before you start drawing names and writing up pink slips to keep your business afloat, check out all the ways businesses are saving money with a virtual workforce.

Variable expenses

Getting people to their desks in a well lit, semi-comfortable room with Internet access and working facilities costs money. Operational and maintenance bills can be significantly reduced by lowering the amount of time they are used each month. According to Telework Research Network, companies can expect to save about $10,000 for every employee who works from home a mere 50% of the time.

Fixed expenses

For the most part, the lucky souls who work from home are consultants, freelancers and impendent business owners and contrary to popular belief, many of them come at a cheaper price. Hiring a freelancer or independent allows businesses to pay per project based on an agreed upon hourly wage or a project fee. Aside from not having to pay benefits or insurance for these folks, businesses also don’t have to pay them for a week’s worth of work whether they do any or not. A virtual environment truly allows companies to get the greatest output for their dollar. But please, be good to your contractors.

Meeting expenses

Meeting face-to-face is and always will be an important part of building meaningful relationships with clients, suppliers and even among colleagues. With that said, there are few among us who have never been in a meeting and thought “really, we’re meeting for this? And we bought lunch?’ Migrating a large portion of internal and external meetings to the virtual workforce world saves companies on travel expenses, food costs and space rentals. Many programs offer fantastic options for everyone to meet face to face in the virtual lounges of the world to help keep teams working virtually on track. A great time saver, virtual meetings also increase productivity by saving the travel time required for an old-fashioned sit down—still important, just do it less.

And if all that still doesn’t convince you, just remember, the average cost to replace a good employee or have their workload redistributed is about $20,000. Wouldn’t you rather just send them home to work and save $10,000?